Virginia Joyriding Lawyer
Virginia does not have a statute specifically for joyriding. Joyriding entails taking a vehicle or other means of transportation without the consent of the owner. There is no intent to steal the vehicle, rather, the person merely wants to use it for a period of time without the owner’s consent. The Code of Virginia outlaws the unauthorized use of a vehicle and when that vehicle is worth more than $500, it is a felony.
A Virginia joyriding lawyer can speak more towards matters regarding the legalities behind joyriding. Talk to an experienced attorney about charges involving riding a vehicle without an owner’s consent.
Examples of Joyriding Scenarios
The most common joyriding scenario is teenagers taking their parents’ vehicles without their permission. Parents who have consistent experiences with their children taking the vehicles are often overwhelmed and call the police. Those children are charged with a felony. Most parents might not realize when they call the police that their child will most likely be charged with a felony.
Joyriding as a Theft Offense
Joyriding is not a theft offense in its purest sense because there is no intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle. In that regard, it is different from other theft-related charges. An unauthorized use of a vehicle is included with all of the other theft-related charges in Virginia.
However, joyriding stands alone because it does not require the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the use of a vehicle. To convict someone of joyriding, the prosecution must prove that another person took a vehicle and used it temporarily with the intent to return it, and without the owner’s consent.
Joyriding and Failure to Return Leased Vehicle
Failure to return a leased vehicle has nothing to do with joyriding because it is a separate offense from joyriding. Failure to return a leased vehicle comes with different expectations.
Joyriding or unauthorized use of a vehicle infers that the person did not have the right to be driving the car.
If a person is charged with failure to return a leased item, that means the person had the right to be driving the vehicle originally and they failed to return it after the lease expired.
When a person is charged with the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, the lawyer must prepare the case for trial and must prepare the person for the possibility of negotiating some kind of a plea at the same time.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the government might be willing to reduce the Class 6 felony that is the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, lessening the charge to a misdemeanor. While the Virginia joyriding lawyer prepares the case for trial, the person also prepares some mitigation to present to the government if the government can prove their case.
Hiring a Virginia Joyriding Lawyer
With joyriding cases, the lack of consent of the owner is a critical element the government must prove. Sometimes, there can be an issue about whether consent was given. Sometimes, consent can be implied by previous activities that took place between the two parties. Hiring a lawyer with experience defending unauthorized use cases can help a person facing joyriding charges. The Virginia joyriding lawyer understands the critical nature of each element and will try to best defend against the government.