Hampton Roads Auto Theft Lawyer 

Auto theft is stealing an automobile. It is when a person takes an automobile that belongs to another person without the intention of returning it. It is a very serious charge that a person should not take lightly. If facing charges, contact a Hampton Roads auto theft lawyer immediately. A qualified attorney can help mitigate or reduce penalties.

Elements of Auto Theft

Auto theft is larceny, which is the taking of an automobile of another person without permission and with the intent to permanently deprive. Virginia does not have a specific statute about auto theft. It is punished as grand larceny.

Auto theft is still a larceny charge, but it is penalized more severely. Per the sentencing guidelines, the sentencing is generally a little harsher than it is for a simple grand larceny charge. Auto theft sees a maximum penalty of 20 years. Since an automobile is involved, it is treated a little differently within the code section.

Preparing a Defense

A Hampton Roads auto theft lawyer will talk to the individual and get their version of events to understand what they are working with. They want to look at the evidence because they want to see how the Commonwealth stands, establish their charges, and determine whether this a case where they have a video, circumstantial evidence, or any witnesses that saw the individual driving the vehicle.

Role of Attorney at Arraignment

The role of a Hampton Roads auto theft lawyer at arraignment depends on the jurisdiction. Usually what happens at an arraignment is they will bring a person in and ask that person if they wish to have an attorney. The attorney can do most of the speaking for a person at an arraignment. They will have them make an initial plea, guilty or not guilty, and set it for trial. An attorney can answer a lot of questions they have and the judge has.

Contacting an Auto Theft Lawyer in Hampton Roads

Local and experienced attorneys tend to know the people involved a little better. In these types of cases, an individual wants an attorney who knows the prosecutor, the officers, and how jurisdictions handle all these types of things. An attorney can answer questions and help steer a person to a good outcome that keeps them from getting into any trouble. If an individual has a Hampton Roads theft lawyer by their side, they can help them with legal advice, and counsel them from making a bad decision.

A person should contact an attorney as soon as they are able. The sooner an attorney can start working on a person’s case, the more likely they are going to help them. This is a felony that could carry with it the possibility of jail time. It gets very serious. It is a crime that can stay with a person and can make it difficult to get work in the future. If a person has a lawyer to assist them, they can possibly negotiate or work something out to keep a felony conviction off their record.