Larceny Of A Motor Vehicle
Theft of motor vehicles is one of the more common of theft crimes in Massachusetts, as well as nationally. This crime is defined and governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 28, which prohibits receiving, stealing, buying, concealing or possessing a motor vehicle or trailer that a person knew or had reason to know had been stolen. An important type of evidence that prosecutors can use to prove that a defendant either knew or had reason to know that a motor vehicle (or its parts) had been stolen, is vehicle identification numbers ("VIN's") on a vehicle or its parts which have been removed or altered. If a person is found to be in possession of a motor vehicle, and its VIN has been removed, scratched out or altered, that will constitute admissible evidence that the defendant knew the vehicle was stolen, or "hot." Additionally, this statute also renders it a crime to intentionally harbor or hide a person who stole a motor vehicle.
You may be wondering about the legal implications of an equally common practice: "Joyriding." This is, of course, knowingly using a motor vehicle without authority. This offense does not fall under the larceny of a motor vehicle statute, because the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his vehicle is presumed to be absent under circumstances of "joyriding." The statutory presumption is that the offender intended temporary use of the vehicle only. A first offense of "Joyriding" is classified as a misdemeanor and is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24(2)(a).
Penalties for Larceny of A Motor Vehicle
Sentencing options for this crime run to a maximum of 15 years in state prison, a maximum of 2 ½ years in a county jail, a fine of up to $15,000, or both a prison sentence and a fine. For a variety of Massachusetts crimes, one possible disposition is known as Continued Without A Finding. While not a straight guilty finding, it's an important plea option when a trial is not the preferred legal course. Importantly for the crime of larceny of a motor vehicle, this particular charge cannot be continued without a finding, and second conviction produces a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in jail. "Mandatory minimum" means the judge has no choice: If the jury returns a guilty verdict on a second offense for this crime, the defendant will automatically be sentenced to one year in jail. The punishment for intentionally concealing or hiding a motor vehicle thief runs to a maximum of ten years in state prison, or a maximum 2 ½ years in a county jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both imprisonment and the fine.
Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Theft Defense Attorney: (781) 320-0062 or (617) 285-3600
The penalties for this crime are very severe. If you or someone you know has been charged with motor vehicle larceny or any other crime in Massachusetts, Dedham and Boston criminal defense attorney William D. Kickham can bring you the legal talent you need. Attorney Kickham has been defending criminal cases in Massachusetts for almost twenty years, and his successful track record speaks for itself. His firm, the Law Offices of William D. Kickham, responds to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and even makes "house calls." If you or someone you know needs a talented criminal defense attorney who knows how to win tough cases, call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at either Ph.: (781) 320-0062 or Ph.: (617) 285-3600,or contact us online. Don't settle on a choice for your attorney until you speak with Attorney William D. Kickham. If you hired a lawyer before speaking with Attorney Kickham, you'd be settling for less.