Grand Theft Auto
When an individual steals a car, motorcycle, or any other type of motor vehicle, then that person is said to have committed grand theft auto. Since automobiles tend to be of high value, all cases of automobile theft are treated as grand theft. Grand theft auto is a serious crime that may carry a heavy punishment.
Types of Grand Theft Auto
In general, there are two ways in which an individual may steal an automobile. The conditions surrounding the vehicle generally determine which type of theft has occurred.
If an individual steals a car that is occupied by forcibly removing the driver and taking the car without permission, then the grand theft auto committed is considered carjacking. This crime may carry additional charges if deadly weapons were involved or if the driver was injured during the robbery.
If an individual steals an unoccupied car, then he or she has committed a straightforward theft. In addition to breaking into the unoccupied car, the individual must start the car and take it without permission for the act to be considered grand theft auto.
Regardless of how a car is stolen, it is a highly illegal act that may yield fines or jail time for convicted individuals. If you or your loved one was charged with grand theft auto, contact the Champaign criminal defense attorneys of Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000.