Auto theft is a serious offense in the state of Minnesota. If the charge is for grand theft auto, then it is a felony charge that can lead to time in prison and fines.
What many individuals do not realize is how easy auto theft may be to commit. In fact, it is so easy that some individuals may not realize they have done anything wrong until they see the police car lights behind them.
There are different types of auto theft offenses and they include:
- Taking a car that belongs to someone else for a “joy ride.”
- Selling the stolen car
- Selling parts from the stolen car
- Trading the stolen car for drugs or other products or services
- Arrangement for the stealing of the car in order to commit insurance fraud
- Stealing the car for vehicle cloning
Many authorities do not like the word “joy ride,” although that is something that some juveniles will do. They will take someone’s car for a ride and some even believe that they will be fine as long as they return it before the owner realizes it is gone. Usually, the owner realizes that their vehicle is gone and they report it stolen.
A person may also report a car stolen if it is in their name and their significant other takes it without their permission. While reporting the car stolen is not something that would typically happen, it can happen if the couple is having a dispute. The partner who took the car may not realize they did anything wrong, especially if they have been allowed to drive the car in the past.
In regards to selling the car or parts from the car, this is actually a more complicated form of auto theft. The individual who steals the vehicle and goes through the trouble of selling the car or its parts knows what they are doing. So does someone who steals the car for cloning purposes.
When an individual clones a vehicle, they typically do so when the car’s title is not clean and they wish to replace it with the VIN of a clean title. This results in a false registration document and enables the auto thief to sell the car with a clean title, getting the most out of its value. A person may also steal another car to make their own vehicle look clean.
When a vehicle owner arranges for the stealing of their vehicle, it is usually because it is a leased car that has high mileage, resulting in high-mileage penalty costs. If the car is stolen, then they cannot prove the mileage went over. This is actually insurance fraud. Some individuals leasing vehicles in Minnesota have actually gone as far as sinking their vehicles in lakes.
If you are charged with Auto theft in Minnesota, it is important for you to secure the representation of aSt. Paul criminal defense attorney who can prove what happened in your case. If you took a vehicle without the intent to steal it, a matter is a misunderstanding, or you were falsely accused, then those are items that need to be proven so you can move on.