Auto Theft Charges
Quincy Criminal Defense Lawyer
Auto theft is a crime that is taken very seriously in the state of Massachusetts. State officials have been cracking down on auto thieves through programs that encourage arrests of car thieves. There were more than 30,000 cars stolen in the state in 2011, according to the state's Executive Office of Public Safety.
One example of the state's increased focus on auto theft arrests is the Governor's Auto Theft Strike Force, which provides a confidential toll-free auto theft tip line. Those who provide tips that lead to the arrest of a car thief or that help locate a chop shop—operations in which stolen cars are disassembled so their parts can be sold—could receive cash rewards of up to $10,000.
The Governor's Auto Theft Strike Force has also taken steps to help catch car thieves through its VIN Etching program, which permanently etches a car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into its window. The etching helps authorities identify stolen vehicles more easily after they are reported stolen.
If you are accused of auto theft, you could be at risk of spending time in jail or prison or being forced to pay a fine. That is why it is extremely important that you find a Quincy criminal defense attorney who can help you defend yourself in court. By turning to a skilled legal professional, you might be able to increase your chances of obtaining favorable results in your case.
Auto Theft in Massachusetts
It is against the law in Massachusetts to steal or maliciously damage a motor vehicle or trailer, according to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 §28. Stealing a car means taking it without the owner's consent or stealing any of its parts or accessories.
It is also illegal to buy, receive, possess, conceal or obtain control of such a vehicle when the individual knows or has reason to believe that it has been stolen. Removal, alteration or destruction of a vehicle's identifying numbers can serve as evidence that a suspected offender knew a vehicle or part was stolen.
Auto Theft Consequences
An auto theft conviction could result in a sentence of up to 15 years in a state prison, up to two-and-a-half years in a jail or house of correction, a fine of up to $15,000, or the combination of a fine with jail or prison time. Anyone found guilty of concealing a motor vehicle or trailer thief can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison or up to two-and-a-half years in a jail or house of correction, as well as fine of up to $5,000.
Those who have previously been convicted of auto theft are subject to harsher sentence and sentence reduction requirements, as well as more restrictions for probation, parole and work releases once they are imprisoned.
How an Attorney Can Help
Being accused of a crime, including auto theft, can be an overwhelming experience. A criminal defense attorney who fully understands the criminal justice system can help you determine your legal options and argue your case in court. Now is not the time to take matters into your own hands. When your future is in jeopardy, it is best to turn to a professional.
By contacting Flanagan & Associates in Quincy, Massachusetts, you can receive a free consultation and case evaluation.
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