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What is the Difference Between Car Theft and Grand Theft Auto? 

We are going to look at what the difference between car theft and grand theft auto are. This article will help you determine the differences and similarities between the two. Let us look at car theft first. 

Car Theft or Carjacking 

Many people refer to car theft as carjacking. However, what is it? We are going to talk about that now in detail. 

Carjacking or car theft is considered a felony crime in many states. For someone to be convicted of car theft, the prosecutor must be able to prove without a doubt the following:

  1. The person has possession of the car or had possession of the car. 
  2. The person has taken the car with the owner in their presence. 
  3. That the car was taken against the will of the owner with using some sort of fear or force. 
  4. That the person has taken the car to deprive the owner of the car forever or just for a little while. 

This method of theft is going to be happening when the person is present. The most common time that this happens is when the owner of the vehicle is inside the vehicle while someone else is driving it. 

If you are found guilty of this, you can find yourself facing up to nine years in a state prison. This is with the fines that could be ten thousand dollars. Keep in mind that some states who have the strike law will give you a strike for this. When you have this on your record, the second crime may be doubled in conviction. This means that you could face up to life in prison if you do the same crime enough times. 

Grand Theft Auto 

This is a completely different offense than that of car theft/jacking. This is defined as taking a vehicle that is under ownership of another person. Grand theft auto is often committed when the owner is not nearby. This means that the car is left in a parking lot or on the street and someone takes it. The owner may not even be aware that the car or vehicle has been taken until they go to drive it next. 

You will find that this can be a felony or misdemeanor. It all depends on the case and circumstances. You will find that a misdemeanor offense can mean almost a year in jail. If there is a felony conviction, you could face up to three years in jail.

PRO TIP: Read all about when petty theft charges are often dropped in this post here.

The Difference Between Car Theft And Grand Theft Auto Charges

You will find that car theft is considered a more dangerous crime than grand theft auto. That is because the owner of the vehicle is present when the vehicle is taken. That means that the person who is taking the vehicle is going to be threatened or forced to give the vehicle up. This could lead to fatality if someone takes a wrong move. 

You will also find that the sentences of the two are different. Grand theft auto has a harsher sentence than that of grand theft auto.  If you are facing either one of the two charges, you will want to consult with a theft lawyer immediately. The Barkemeyer Law Firm handles theft crimes very frequently and offers the best representation for any criminal charges.

Similarities Between The Two Charges

While there are differences, there are a few similarities. Both involve taking a vehicle. However, one is where the owner is present and one where the owner is not. 

PRO TIP: Learn all about when theft charges can be dropped. We’re sure you’re going to love this post!

Lawyer Up When Facing Any Type Of Criminal Charge

Taking the time to find a lawyer if you are convicted of these crimes is important. Having either of these crimes on your record is going to make it hard for you to get jobs and other things. It is important that you find the right lawyer to suit your needs. The lawyer should find all documents and statements made. They should help you determine your next move should you find yourself in this situation. 

A lawyer will help you get the results that you are looking for. They will ensure that all evidence is rounded up to ensure that you have the best chance at being found not guilty. Having a lawyer is going to help you out overall.

What Is The Difference Between Car Theft And Grand Theft Auto

Taking the time to know what the difference between car theft and grand theft auto is important. Many people use the terms interchangeably, however, they are two separate offenses. They are different in their own ways. We have discussed the difference above. Take the time to educate yourself and know your rights. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to lawyer up to make sure that you get the best results. We hope this answers your question about what is the difference between car theft and grand theft auto! 


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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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