As defined by the Code of Virginia, joyriding is the unofficial term for the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. When a person intentionally takes someone else’s motor vehicle, it is a crime in Virginia. If a person has been charged with the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, it is essential that they consult with a skilled Fredericksburg joyriding lawyer.
If you are accused of joyriding, it is important to have sound legal representation. A common example of joyriding scenarios is when someone fails to follow the terms of borrowing a vehicle, and they take the vehicle but it cannot be proven that the person intended to permanently take the automobile. If you are being charged with joyriding, it is imperative to speak with an experienced theft lawyer.
Joyriding is not stated in an actual statute. It is called the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle means the person met all the elements of larceny, but it cannot be proven that the person intended to permanently take the item, in this case, a motor vehicle, motorcycle, or both. It is a theft offense because it involves the act of taking from another. Joyriding, even though the taking does not need to be proven permanent, is still a type offense involving taking. They are going to charge the person with unauthorized use, which basically means the person used it, the person deprives the owner of the property, but they did not intend to keep it forever.
If one is accused of joyriding, the prosecution must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In this particular code section, it means they must prove that the person did take the motor vehicle, motorcycle, or both and that they intended to deprive the person of their property but they did not intend to do so for a long period of time. A Fredericksburg joyriding lawyer can help prove the person was not intending to permanently take the motor vehicle.
Some common examples of when a person may be charged with joyriding include scenarios in which a young person takes a parent’s or relative’s keys without their permission. Someone may have initially intended to commit a grand larceny and take a car, but then change their mind, do the right thing, and return it. When someone fails to abide by the terms of a borrowing agreement that was not reported or based on a different type of statute, there are a lot of examples that come up. Mainly, it is when someone uses something but did not intend to take it forever.
Another common example is when someone had permission at one point, but that permission was either revoked or was limited in duration and therefore expired. It could be a case like when a person tells their roommate they can borrow their car for the weekend and the roommate took the car and did not give it back for a month. They can be charged with unauthorized use in that scenario when they did not recover the car for a month.
Failure to return a leased property or rental property is sometimes charged as unauthorized use. Essentially, it is a bailee violation, which is a separate charge someone may accrue for failing to return rental property or leased property. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, they may also be charged with unauthorized use theft since the authorization for the possession was limited in its duration. They also did not intend to steal something, because at one point they had valid possession.
There are several reasons why a person facing joyriding charges should get a Fredericksburg joyriding lawyer right away, especially if the person may be arrested for a conduct that was committed in the recent past. Law enforcement may try to interview the person and ask them questions about the conduct. The person’s answer to those questions could very well lay a foundation for whether or not the person is going to be charged with joy ride or the more serious grand larceny. The person would want to talk to an attorney right away to find out what defense they may have available and how those specific defenses can help them.
If you are facing joyriding charges, an attorney can work as investigator, advocate, and litigator. An experienced attorney has the resources and knowledge to assist you during this process. It is important to begin building a strong defense case and strategy.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law