Fredericksburg Auto Theft Lawyer
Auto theft refers to grand larceny of an automobile. It is a specific subsection of grand larceny offense. When someone is facing grand larceny, they should consult a skilled Fredericksburg auto theft lawyer and begin building a strong defense case. Vehicle theft is a serious offense in Virginia. It is essential that someone facing these charges seek legal representation. Additionally, there can be more severe penalties associated with grand larceny auto. If you have been charged with auto theft, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced theft attorney right away.
Definition of Auto Theft
Based on Fredericksburg laws concerning vehicle theft, if someone is charged with grand larceny of an automobile, specific things must be proven to find someone guilty of grand larceny of an automobile. There is also a specific extra level of consequences for someone found guilty of this offense. The only difference between grand larceny and grand larceny auto is that grand larceny auto is more specific. It is 18.2-95 of the Code of Virginia that covers the elements of the offense.
Virginia statute authorizes the NADA service for civil evaluation. It comes often with civil cases. For criminal cases, they generally try to introduce business records or have a mechanic to look at it to determine the car’s worth. They know that the car is worth more than $200 and can give reasons why based on their education, training, and experience.
Like all grand larceny offenses, auto theft is punishable as an unclassified felony by up to 20 years in prison or up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine. There are a wide variety of discretionary penalties for someone charged with an offense as serious as this. Therefore, they want to make sure they have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on their side to help them know what they are facing and how they can work on creating the best defense possible.
If a person is charged, the person is facing a felony offense down the road. The consequences if the person is convicted are that the person is facing an unclassified felony punishable by one to 20 years in the Department of Correction or up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine. Additionally, for grand theft auto, the person may lose their ability to have a driver’s license through hard revocation of the person’s license. Additionally, there is a potential DMV penalty associated with grand larceny auto, which is unique to that section.
Auto theft, generally, is considered a felony. The reason is that Virginia has monetary limits for what is a felony and what is a misdemeanor for larceny offenses. Even though the threshold to a misdemeanor and larceny in Virginia is $200, any theft offense over $200 can be charged as a felony. In an automobile offense, someone would be hard pressed in practical terms to find that the value of an automobile is less than $200. So even though valuation is often a defense in grand larceny cases, it is not commonly seen as a viable one in grand larceny of an automobile due to practical concerns.
Hiring an Attorney
A Fredericksburg auto theft lawyer is going to understand local practices, discovery procedures, clerk procedures, and motions procedures. All of these things that can help a person save time and be more efficient. Depending on the facts of the case, an attorney may play some role in arraignment or they may play very little. Generally, in Virginia, an attorney’s presence at arraignment is not overly necessary. At the arraignment, attorneys are there to schedule and make sure an individual understands what they are charged with or the element of the offense. They may also have relationships with prosecutors that allow for negotiations to go more smoothly. There are a wide variety of reasons why that would be helpful.
In Virginia, a person does not necessarily enter a plea at an arraignment. Therefore, an attorney is not required to advise someone about the consequences of a plea. In most instances, they are not entering a plea at the time they are arraigned. They are informed about their case and what their rights are. Generally, the terms arraignment and advisement can be used interchangeably in many cases. This means working with a knowledgeable attorney before you make a decision of the case so that they can help you make a more informed decision, including strategy decisions, motions, and things of that nature. It is important to contact an experienced Fredericksburg auto theft lawyer as soon as possible if you have been charged or believe you may be imminently charged with a serious offense like auto theft.