Motor vehicle theft throughout Colorado involves taking another’s car without permission, by threat, or by deception. Charged as aggravated motor vehicle theft in Adams County, hefty penalties exist for those convicted. In addition to periods of incarceration and significant fines, defendants also lose their driver’s license for at least a year. Even taking an automobile worth less than $1K for a short period of time is a class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Colorado. And, charges can soar if the vehicle is pricey or you make attempts to disguise it in some way. If you or someone you know is being accused of carjacking in Thornton, Commerce City, or Brighton contact an experienced motor vehicle theft attorney as soon as possible.
4 Elements of Motor Vehicle Theft in Colorado
Colorado’s aggravated motor vehicle theft law prohibits taking someone’s car, truck, or SUV without their authorization or in a deceptive way. CRS 18-4-409 is the criminal code that defines carjacking in Colorado. Police in Thornton or Northglenn will pursue charges if they believe you:
- knowingly obtained or exercised control,
- over another’s motor vehicle,
- without authorization,
- OR by threat or deception
This can apply to taking a friend’s car, a family member’s vehicle, or a company’s truck or van. Borrowing someone’s car without permission is a very risky act and can land unsuspecting people in prison.
How Bad is Carjacking in Adams County?
Penalties for aggravated motor vehicle theft depend on the vehicle’s value, the defendant’s prior criminal history, and what was done with vehicle after taking it. Second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft ranges from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 5 felony. A conviction can lead to:
- 6 – 36 months of incarceration,
- fines of $500 – $100,000
Auto theft becomes first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft if the car was kept for more than a day, taken out of the state for 12+ hours, used to commit a crime, injure someone, or cause $500+ of damage, or altered or disguised to hide the VIN or license plates. Consequences in these cases includes 1 – 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and a fine range of $1K – $750K.
Criminal Lawyer for Colorado Auto Theft Charges
While an allegation of motor vehicle theft can be overwhelming, it doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers have fought these charges before and know how the prosecutors operate. Perhaps the accusations from the vehicle owner aren’t true, you had permission to borrow the car, or you didn’t know you lacked authorization to take the vehicle. Nonetheless, contact our office for a free, confidential consultation. We will thoroughly evaluate your unique situation, hear your side of the story, and suggest next steps in your defense. Our affordable fees and flexible payment plans make determined representation a reality in uncertain times.
Don’t talk to police about motor vehicle theft charges – talk to us. Sawyer Legal Group 303-731-0719
Photo by Dalton Smith