The world has evolved from small town justice to recordings in every room, phone and building. Even some lights and buildings have outside cameras that record every second of every interaction of the day, making it more difficult to pull off crimes of this nature. As technology progresses into the next age, these crimes may become obsolete.
Grand theft auto is usually considered a felony and deemed as this crime when more than $500 to $1,000 is stolen. In the case of vehicles, this would usually be charged even if the person does not keep the car. In typical cases of conviction, a person may be punished up to one or more years in prison. Even with this specific stipulation of dollar amounts in some states, others have the same law in regards to all auto thefts. Additionally, some states charge the alleged perpetrator with other crimes such as Unlawful Taking or Driving of a Vehicle and other similar criminal acts.
Differences between Grand Theft and Simple Theft
Typical simple theft is usually considered the taking or using of someone else’s property or belongings without permission or consent. This is also known as larceny which usually involves items of a lesser or minor amount of worth. The same concept is applied when charging a person with grand theft auto, but in these instances, the object of theft is an automobile. While many states have deemed the stealing of any vehicle as grand theft auto, those states with a dollar amount stipulated in the law distinguish simple and grand theft. When the amount of the stolen car exceeds the simple theft crime, the charges are often elevated from misdemeanor to felony. Simple fines often become greater with fewer days in jail transforming into potential years in prison.
Contrast of Joyriding to Grand Theft Auto
Many states have law enforcement issue the charge of joyriding when a person takes someone’s vehicle with the sole intention of just driving it for a short time. The idea behind this crime is the thrill of the ride. It could be due to the fast car, the type of car, the crime being committed or multiple emotional outlets. Some states have different definitions for joyriding just as they do for grand theft auto. Joyriding differs from the grand theft auto charge in that it is for a temporary amount of time with the intention of either taking the vehicle back or leaving it where it could be found. The other charge is issued when the person takes the car with the intention of depriving the owner permanently, no matter in what fashion this may be. Some instances of joyriding are considered misdemeanors with certain factors elevating the charges to a felony. Grand theft auto, on the other hand, is almost always tried as a felony in the United States.
Additional Crimes with Auto Theft
There are many other crimes that may be committed in conjunction with the theft of a person’s vehicle. It is often when a criminal uses someone’s identity through the criminal act of identity theft that he or she may, in essence, steal things from this person through credit or other means. Some of these acts may include the theft of a new or used vehicle. In these circumstances, the person that perpetrates these crimes has the intention of keeping the stolen goods. This may cause the owner of the identity to accrue bad credit, or he or she may find a credit collection service hounding him or her. In most cases involving this issue, law enforcement and legal assistance are needed to adjust what the theft of identity did to this person.
While numerous acts of auto theft occur when the person is not with or in the vehicle stolen, some crimes arise through robbery. This involves the person being intimidated through the use of force, violence or a weapon. The perpetrator takes the object he or she wants and leaves the scene in most instances. The added use of violence may cause additional charges if law enforcement is able to apprehend him or her. Because the owner is present in these situations, the potential for injury or death is greater than if violent acts were absent from the crime. With corroborating witness testimony, the person accused of the crime may find it harder to get away with it.