Auto Theft Laws in Arizona
A major contribution to the statistics of crime is auto theft. It is more common in developed countries, especially when the rate of stolen cars is calculated per registered vehicle.
Significant differences between rural areas and cities can only be partially explained by changes in the overall crime rate or the availability of cars. Many thefts involve cars parked on the streets at night, and car models vary greatly, making them vulnerable to theft.
Many states have passed special car theft laws. Although these laws vary from state to state, most states have prohibited the theft of conventional vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and larger commercial vehicles such as buses or trailers.
Means of Transportation Laws in Arizona
Arizona’s amended law describes what applies to theft of means of transport. In accordance with the law, it is written that anyone who deliberately:
- Controls the means of transport of another person without intending to return the vehicle;
- Does not return the vehicle after renting the vehicle;
- Takes another person’s vehicle with false information in order to take it permanently;
- Controls the means of transport of another person after it was lost or misdelivered;
- Controls the means of transportation knowing that the vehicle was stolen.
Such a person has committed Az Class 3 felony, under Arizona car theft laws.
Penalties for Auto Theft in Arizona
Theft charges in Arizona car laws are punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of 2.5 years to a maximum of 10 years. If there are “antagonizing conditions” to the crime, such as carjacking, the penalty could be up to 12.5 years.
Defenses to Auto Theft Charges
Some criminal defenses to the charges of illegal use of means of transportation in Arizona include:
- Improper Police Reporting — The law states that anyone who alleges their vehicle was stolen must sign an affidavit.
- Consent –When the original owner actually consented to use the vehicle and then revoked the permission.
- Mistake of Fact — When someone buys or lent a car that turns out to be stolen, the defendant may use “mistake of fact” as a defense.
- Pressurized Statements — If it is found that the police accused or intimidated the suspects, the charges may be dismissed.
- Denial of Right of Counsel — If the police refuse or fail to provide the suspect with a private area, a phone and a phonebook with a list of attorneys as soon as the suspect requests for a lawyer, it could result in the case being dismissed.
What Evidence/Proof is Needed for Car Theft
To face charges for theft of means of transportation in Arizona, specific evidence(s) are required.
- It must be clear that you have controlled the vehicle of another individual.
- It must also be clear that you intended to permanently seize the vehicle.
- If the vehicle was in your control for restricted use or gotten in an unauthorized way.
Contact an Auto Theft Lawyer
If you are currently charged with theft of means of transportation in Arizona, the consequences are unfavorable. You don’t have to go through it alone for an Arizona stolen vehicle charge — contact an auto theft lawyer today.