Newport News Auto Theft Lawyer

Auto theft is considered to be a serious charge in Newport News. A person charged with this offense could potentially be facing up to 20 years in prison should this charge be considered a felony. Without an experienced attorney by your side, you may also be susceptible to intimidation tacts used by law enforcement officers and attorneys. A Newport News auto theft lawyer could prove to be a vital asset to your criminal defense.

How is Auto Theft Defined in Newport News?

Virginia does not have a separate grand theft auto charge like many other states, it may charge them under larceny laws. This may then require a prosecutor to establish that the person charged robbed someone of their car, in working condition, with the intent of permanently depriving them of it. For this charge to be considered a felony, the value of the item must be more than $500. A person facing such accusation should immediately contact a Newport News auto theft lawyer for help with building a strategic defense.

Penalties of an Auto Theft Charge

Auto theft is punishable by up to 20 years in prison as a felony. Auto theft is also considered a felony due to the value of a vehicle being valued at more than $500. If the value were less than $500, it may then be considered a misdemeanor. Due to the fact that auto theft is considered a larceny charge in the state of Virginia, the defendant may have to provide a DNA sample. This sample can always be disclosed in a background check for the rest of a person’s life.

Consequences for a Second-Time Offense

The penalties of a second offense of auto theft would be harsher than for the first time. If it is a bench trial with a judge, the guidelines the judge follows may reflect whether it is their second offense leading to elevated penalties. If it is a jury trial, the jury will certainly learn that it is not the person’s first time committing such a crime.

Possible Reduced Sentencing Options for an Auto Theft Conviction

Some of the charge reductions that may be obtained for a person facing auto theft charges are down to a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Reduced sentencing options can be available even if the value is more than $500. Such crimes usually result in probation instead of an active jail sentence if the defendant does not have a criminal history. However, a person should not make any deals with the prosecution without the assistance of a Newport News auto theft lawyer. An attorney can protect you from saying anything that may negatively impact your case.

Process of Building an Auto Theft Defense

An auto theft attorney in Newport News may prepare a defense by looking at the facts of the case, the circumstances of the charge, and the defendant’s account of what happened. An attorney could also have an open dialogue with the prosecutor, should a plea agreement be the recommended route towards a positive outcome. An attorney could also speak with any witnesses and gather any detail they can in order to build a solid defense.

Importance of Hiring a Newport News Auto Theft Attorney

If you have been charged with auto theft in Newport News, you considering hiring a local attorney because they are more familiar with that jurisdiction’s procedures, the judges, the prosecutors, and the police officers. However, when a person hires someone from out of town, they have to get themselves up to speed on who everyone is and they may not have a relationship with the prosecutor. Often, in a theft case, relationships with the prosecutor can help reach a better outcome for the person charged. Get in touch with an attorney to get started on building a defense today.