Free Initial Consultation
South Denver: 303-731-0719
North Denver: 303-916-9006
Toll free: 866-365-9351
COVID-19 RESPONSE: We are open and available to meet with you in-person or via phone / video conference. Click our number to connect with an attorney.


Stealing Cars and Colorado's Motor Vehicle Theft Laws

colorado-aggravated-motor-vehicle-theft-laws.jpgAutomobile theft is a very serious offense in Colorado that involves stealing another's car, truck, van, or motorcycle. How long the person takes control of the vehicle and where they take it are major factors of this specific crime. Additionally, causing damage in the process or altering the car can escalate the charges. Always be sure you have permission to borrow someone's car before you get behind the wheel and drive it. Something as simple as a text from the owner can go a long way. Any allegation of motor vehicle theft requires quickly consulting a strategic criminal lawyer.

Key Factors of Second-Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft in Denver

Stealing a car can be charged as either second-degree or first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft. 2nd degree auto theft is slightly less serious and occurs in Denver, Lakewood, or Aurora if someone:

  • knowingly takes another person's car, truck, van, or motorcycle,
  • without permission or by threat / deception

Sometimes younger individuals face an auto theft charge after using their parent's car without permission to go on a date or out with their friends. Another example involves borrowing a person's car with authorization but then failing or refusing to return it when asked.

Elements of First-Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft in Denver

Car theft becomes more serious when other behaviors follow taking control of a vehicle. The actions below can escalate the situation to 1st degree auto theft:

  • keeping the vehicle for more than 24 hours,
  • taking the car out of CO for over 12 hours,
  • using the automobile to commit another crime,
  • causing $500+ in damage,
  • injuring a person with the car,
  • attempting to cover or alter the VIN or license plate

It is important to note that stealing a car by threatening someone, deceiving them, or just hopping in and taking off are all forms of aggravated motor vehicle theft in Colorado.

Denver Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft Lawyer

Stealing a car is almost always a felony in the state of Colorado. The only exception is when the vehicle is valued below $1,000 and the defendant doesn't have more than one prior conviction. With a sentencing range of 1 - 12 years in prison and possible six-figure fines, hiring a skilled defense attorney is crucial. Perhaps you own the car, you had permission to take the vehicle, or you've been falsely accused. Nevertheless, contact our office for a free consultation. We will carefully analyze your vehicle theft situation and recommend next steps, all while prioritizing your best possible outcome.

If you or someone you know is facing a motor vehicle theft charge in Colorado, be smart. Contact the experienced criminal defense team at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

Photo by Tyler Nix

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Facing Charges? Get Help Now!


Tell us about your case and one of our experienced attorneys will get back to you promptly.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Case Results:

  • Sexual Assault and Rape charges related to divorce. Acquittal from jury trial. Weld County, Greeley, Colorado.
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, Possession of Child Pornography. Acquittal from jury trial. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Arson of Nursing Home. Dismissed by Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Felony Drug Distribution. Acquittal from jury trial. Boulder County, Boulder, Colorado.
  • Rape and Sexual Assault charges involving divorce and child custody. Acquittal from jury trial. Douglas County, Castle Rock, Colorado.
  • Burglary and Felony Theft. Dismissed by District Attorney. Arapahoe County, Englewood, Colorado.
  • Theft of Drugs by Nurse. Dismissed by District Attorney. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust. Acquittal from Jury Trial. Adams County, Brighton, Colorado.
  • Domestic Violence. Dismissed by District Attorney. Douglas County, Castle Rock, Colorado.
  • Violation of Restraining Order. Dismissed by District Attorney. Douglas County, Castle Rock.

24 hour emergency service Same-day jail visits Free initial consultation Reasonable fees Flexible payment plans

Call Toll free: 866-365-9351 South Denver: 303-731-0719 North Denver: 303-916-9006 Email us

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.