Aggravated motor vehicle theft is a serious crime in Colorado that involves stealing someone’s car, truck, or motorcycle. When a vehicle is taken control of without permission or via threat or deception, significant criminal charges can result. Just last weekend, a standoff occurred between an auto theft suspect and local law enforcement near an elementary school. Police eventually arrested the suspect. Anyone facing Denver motor vehicle theft charges should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What Type of Crime is Motor Vehicle Theft in Colorado?
Aggravated motor vehicle theft is most often a felony offense throughout Colorado’s counties. C.R.S. 18-4-409 describes the different degrees in which it can be charged. Someone commits second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft if they:
- knowingly obtain or exercise control over another’s motor vehicle,
- without authorization, or by threat or deception
If someone does any of the following during the auto theft, first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft applies:
- possess the vehicle for 24+ hours,
- attempt to alter the vehicle’s appearance,
- remove or alter the VIN,
- use the vehicle to commit another crime,
- cause $500+ damage to the vehicle or other property,
- cause bodily injury to someone while in possession of the vehicle,
- take the vehicle out of Colorado for 12+ hours,
- unlawfully attach other license plates to the vehicle
Situations where teenagers take their parent’s car without permission can even be considered aggravated motor vehicle theft in Denver.
What is the Penalty for Auto Theft in Denver?
Second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft can range from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 5 felony depending on the value of the vehicle(s) involved. In rare situations where the vehicle is less than $1,000 in value, penalties for auto theft include 6 – 18 months in county jail and fines of up to $5,000. All other auto thefts where the vehicle(s) stolen are above $1,000 in value are felony offenses. Potential punishments include 1 – 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and up to six-figure fines. Additionally, conviction for stealing a vehicle will result in revocation of your Colorado driver’s license.
Denver Defense Attorney for Auto Theft
Just because you’ve been charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Defenses exist that may apply to your unique situation. Perhaps you had permission to drive the vehicle or maybe someone else took the car, truck, or motorcycle. Nevertheless, contact our office for a free consultation where a skilled Denver motor vehicle theft lawyer will carefully analyze your case and suggest next steps. We have over 40 years of combined experience representing clients facing felonies throughout Colorado and our results speak for themselves.
If you or someone you know is facing motor vehicle theft charges, be smart. Contact Denver’s best criminal defense attorneys at O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo Credit: Pexels – Mateusz Dach