If you get charged with this crime, you will need a good defense attorney as quickly as possible. An attorney skilled in the laws regarding unauthorized use of a vehicle can help you in this situation. In some cases, you may be able to have your charge pleaded down to a misdemeanor.
Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the second degree is the same as third degree, but you have already been charged with the same crime within 10 years. In this case, a person can also be charged with a Class E felony and sentenced to four years in prison.
People need to be very careful about the unauthorized use of a vehicle laws. You can be completely innocent in your mind but not from a legal standpoint. You could innocently take your roommate’s vehicle, even if you have an oral agreement with them that you are allowed to drive it. If this person needs their vehicle and attempts to contact you and cannot reach you — they could by law call the police and report their vehicle stolen. If the roommate is found, they will be arrested for unauthorized use of a vehicle.
If you have been in a similar scenario, you need to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. No one wants a charge like this on their record. If an employer sees it, they will likely think the worst. Always get the opinion of a professional. Only they can look at your case and represent you in a court of law. Regardless of how innocent you feel the situation is, you should never attempt to represent yourself in court. Words can be misconstrued, which can lead to making matters worse.
In order for the case to be dropped, you must have a strong defense. This can be disputed in many different ways. The bottom line is there should be clear boundaries regarding what can and cannot be done with the vehicle to avoid future confusion. Unfortunately, there are times when people can file false charges due to some petty issue. It can happen, and you should be ready for it.
If you feel that you have been falsely accused of unauthorized use of a vehicle, you should seek out the advice of an attorney as quickly as you can. Only a seasoned attorney can help you out of this situation and preserve your rights. You do have a right to have your day in court. But allow your lawyer to speak for you so that the court gets a true depiction of the facts.
On the flip side of this, if you take off in someone’s vehicle and have not gotten permission, you will also be subject to arrest for unauthorized use of a vehicle. No one has a right take another person’s vehicle without permission. Period. If you have done this and get arrested, you can be charged with a felony, especially if it has been done before. If you find yourself in this situation, regardless of the circumstances, you will need a lawyer to represent you. Call for a free consultation today.