Commonly called “Grand Theft Auto,” the prosecutor will file a complaint alleging violation of Vehicle Code Section 10851(a) if it believes the person stole a car with the intent to permanently keep the car, or even if the person only intended to keep the car temporarily. Auto theft charges can be filed against family members who take the car for a night out or even just a ride around town.
Believe it or not, this charge is often times filed against children who take their parent’s car for the night without permission (assuming, of course, the police somehow get involved). Please note that this charge doesn’t apply only to automobiles – it also applies to any “vehicle,” as defined by the Vehicle Code. A “vehicle,” for the purposes of this statute, may also include a golf-cart, motorcycle, motor scooter, etc.
This charge can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony, meaning the sentence ranges from a year in county jail all the way up to 3 years in state prison depending on one’s criminal history
Errol L. Cook has years of experience handling these types of cases, and will be able to advise you of your rights, options, and how to properly proceed with your case.