The term “grand theft auto” has become part of everyday lexicon mostly because of the game of the same name, and even law enforcers use it. Technically, however, not all auto theft is grand theft, and not all grand theft involves automobiles.
Basically, theft is the unauthorized appropriation of property or services with the intent to deprive the legal owner of its value. In most states, Texas included, theft is classified as either petty or grand depending on the value placed on the property or service in question. The determination of the value varies from state to state, but in Texas it is based on fair market value. As can be easily surmised, petty theft is when the value of the item or service taken is less than a certain amount which again will depend on the state, although some states considers theft of specific property such as a credit card as grand theft by default. In Texas, anything over $500 in value is considered grand theft.
Going back to grand theft auto, it should be pointed out that while most cars that are stolen are valued at more than $500, it is still possible that it is not. In such cases, it would probably not be called petty theft auto, though. The more correct term for car theft is “motor vehicle theft” which makes no distinction in terms of market value, but the charges are more serious for more valuable vehicles. In other words when you use the term “grand theft auto,” you should be referring to a stolen vehicle that has a market value of more than $500.
Note that according to the criminal defense lawyers of LOMTL the term “unauthorized” is subject to many interpretations, and a simple miscommunication can land you in a world of hurt if you are arrested and charged for grand theft auto, a felony in Texas. If you have been unlucky enough to be charged with motor vehicle theft, consult with a competent criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
A defense attorney is a valuable resource for anyone charged with a serious crime. Whether the accused party is guilty or not, the attorney can help guide their client through the legal system with experience and knowledge. Criminal charges like drug possession or the intent to distribute, can come with hefty penalties should the accused be found guilty. According to the website of Massachusetts attorney James Powderly a first-time possession of cocaine could cost the accused one year in prison, a hefty fine, and the loss of driver’s license. However, penalties differ depending on the state in which the court is located.
Seeking legal help from a criminal defense attorney, rather than a public or court-appointed attorney, is especially important for someone who is convicted of a much more serious crime. Should someone be accused of drug trafficking when they were merely in possession, they could be made to spend an undue amount of time in prison. Additionally, prison-fines and additional court-fines could cost the convicted party a large portion of their money.
Many criminal defense attorneys deal with an array of legal areas. According to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC, common legal areas covered by criminal defenders are bank fraud, drug trafficking, drug possession, gun crimes, sex crimes, internet sex crimes, healthcare fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, RICO conspiracies, trade secrets, trademark and copyright infringement, state appeals, and federal appeals. People charged with a criminal offense can often lose personal, professional, and social credibility. The wrongfully accused should not be subject to serving time, paying fines, or suffering other penalties. Arrested parties that hire experienced criminal defense lawyers are making a prudent decision in regaining their credibility. After, these are situations that can change the rest of a person’s life.