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Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer / Denver Car Theft Lawyer

Denver Car Theft Lawyer

Car theft is a serious problem in Colorado—so serious, in fact, that the state recently made revisions to the previous long-standing law, now making it a felony to steal a car. Furthermore, the vehicle’s value no longer matters when it comes to calculating the type of felony the offender faces. This is not good news for people recently arrested for car theft. If you fall into this group, you need to understand the seriousness of your situation. Even if the alleged theft was merely a miscommunication between family members, you are still facing a felony offense, and you need to protect yourself by calling an attorney as soon as possible. Denver cart theft lawyer Reid DeChant at DeChant Law is familiar with Colorado’s new car theft law, and knows how to beat charges set against his clients.

First Degree Car Theft

First degree car theft is a Class 3 felony, punishable by four to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. It occurs when an offender takes a vehicle without authorization and has at least two prior convictions for car theft or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Second Degree Car Theft

Second degree car theft occurs when an offender “knowingly obtains or exercises control over the motor vehicle of another without authorization or by threat or deception.” There are two classifications of car theft in Colorado: first degree and second degree. If one of the following is true, the offender commits first degree auto theft:

  • Retains possession or control of the vehicle for over 24 hours
  • Alters or attempts to alter or disguise the appearance of the vehicle
  • Alters or attempts to alter or remove the vehicle identification number
  • Uses the vehicle in the commission of a crime other than a traffic offense
  • Causes $1,000 or more of property damage
  • Causes bodily injury to another person while exercising control of the vehicle
  • Takes the vehicle out of Colorado for more than 12 hours
  • Unlawfully attaches or otherwise displays unlawful license plates

Second degree car theft is a Class 4 felony, punishable by two to six years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000

Third Degree Car Theft

If a vehicle is stolen in a manner and possessed in a time frame less than that of second degree car theft, the offender will be charged with second degree car/auto theft. This offense is often called “joyriding” but it is a Class 5 felony, punishable by two to 12 to 36 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000

Call a Denver Car Theft Lawyer Today

With car theft on the rise in Colorado, prosecutors are eager to put the new law into motion and garner first, second, and third-degree car theft convictions. There are defenses to car theft, but you need an experienced Denver cart theft lawyer in order to enact any type of useful legal defense. Call Reid DeChant at DeChant Law today at 720-634-6789 for a free case evaluation.