Auto Theft

Allegations of auto theft, carjacking, or unauthorized use of a vehicle in Dallas can result in serious penalties and repercussions. For example, a conviction for this felony offense can result in jail or prison time, hefty fines, a possibly permanent criminal record, an inability to pursue certain jobs, professions, or occupations, and/or ineligibility to apply for some types of higher education.

It is important to remember that auto theft charges do not necessarily have to result in a conviction. The state prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a very difficult burden to meet and can result in a dismissal or reduction of the criminal charges against you if the judge or jury has any doubt you committed the offense. Therefore, it is essential to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas to help you identify your best legal defense.

auto theft

Auto Theft Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX

If you have been arrested for automobile theft in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville, or Frisco, contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Richard C. McConathy is an aggressive Dallas criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 about your carjacking allegations.

Auto Theft in Dallas

Texas law does not provide for a specific auto theft law, which means anyone who takes another person’s vehicle can be prosecuted under one of several different statutes. The most common statute use to prosecute auto theft offenders is the state’s general theft law. Under Tex. Penal Code § 31.03, an individual can be charged with auto theft if they unlawfully take another person’s vehicle with the intent to deprive that person of their vehicle.

Taking another person’s vehicle is unlawful if:

  • The owner did not consent;
  • The alleged offender took the vehicle knowing it was a stolen vehicle; or
  • The alleged offender took the vehicle from law enforcement officials knowing it was a stolen vehicle.

 

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in Dallas

An individual can also be charged with auto theft in Texas under the state’s unauthorized use law. According to Tex. Penal Code § 31.07, an individual can be charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle if they intentionally or knowingly operate another person’s vehicle that is propelled by a motor, boat or airplane without their consent.

Carjacking Penalties in Dallas

Penalties for auto theft and carjacking are defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. These penalties can vary depending on the value of the vehicle stolen, whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, whether anyone was injured during the commission of the offense, and what statute the alleged offender is charged under. The most common penalties for auto theft in Dallas are as follows:

  • An individual charged with auto theft can face a Class C misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a fine up to $500 if the value of the allegedly stolen property is less than $50.
  • An individual charged with carjacking can face a Class B misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000 if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $50 or more but less than $500.
  • An individual charged with auto theft can face a Class A misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000 if the value of the property is valued at $500 or more but less than $1,500.
  • An individual charged with carjacking can face a state jail felony conviction, which is punishable by a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000 if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000.
  • An individual charged with auto theft can face a felony of the third-degree theft conviction, which is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000 if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000.
  • An individual charged with carjacking can face a felony of second-degree conviction, which is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000 if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000.
  • An individual charged with auto theft can face a felony of the first-degree conviction, which is punishable by five to 99 years in prison or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000 if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $200,000 or more.
  • An individual who is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle can be convicted of a state jail felony. This degree of offense is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000.

 

Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Auto Theft Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas.

Complete an online form or call (972) 233-5700 today for a consultation about your carjacking charges throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County, and Tarrant County.

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