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Next on our list of legal subjects to tackle is various theft crimes that you can be accused of. As usual, we’re going to go into the exact nature of the charges without having to sift through complicated legalese. So that being said, let’s start off with unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree.
You’re guilty of this crime when you take a vehicle without the consent of the owner, or when you can assume the owner doesn’t give you consent. You’re also guilty of this if you have custody of someone else’s vehicle because of a prior agreement about some sort of maintenance work, and you use the car outside of that realm. Another way you’d be guilty of this is if you have an agreement to return someone’s vehicle by a certain time and then withhold the vehicle instead of returning it, again being a major deviation from what you had initially agreed on.
In this section, the term “gross deviation from the agreement” basically means any kind of circumstances where someone has custody of a vehicle for fifteen days or less in regards to a written agreement, and then keeps possession of that vehicle for at least seven days beyond what was agreed upon, and then if that person continues the possession for more than two days after service of a notice by the owner when exactly the vehicle should be returned. Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.
As you probably guessed, this charge is pretty similar to unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, but it also adds on the stipulation that you committed the crime and were also previously convicted of the same crime within the last ten years. Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the second degree is considered to be a class E felony.
Last for unauthorized use of a vehicle, we have the first degree charge. This involves committing the preceding crime with the addition that you operate a vehicle, without the consent of the owner, in order to commit a class A, class B, class C, or class D felony, or during your escape from committing one of these crimes. It goes without saying that it’s presumed you’d know in this case that you didn’t have the consent of the owner. This charge is in fact a class D felony.
Now that we’ve covered unauthorized use of a vehicle, we’re going to move on to the crime of auto stripping. For the third degree charge of this crime, you’d be guilty if you remove or intentionally destroy or deface some part of a vehicle, obviously without the permission of the owner. Another way is if you remove or intentionally destroy/deface any part of an abandoned vehicle. One possible defense for this is if you were authorized to do this in regards to a law, or else by permission if the owner. Auto stripping in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.
As you probably guessed, this charge involves committing the last crime, but also having been convicted of violating certain provisions in the last five years, or if you previously intentionally destroyed, defaced, or otherwise damaged some part of two or more vehicles, except for abandoned vehicles, without the actual permission of the owner, and the value of the parts that you removed come up to a total of $1,000. This crime is punished as a class E felony.
Last on our list of various theft crimes is auto stripping in the first degree. You’re guilty of this one when you remove or otherwise intentionally destroy, deface, or alter the parts of three or more vehicle, excepting of course abandoned vehicles, without permission from the owner, and the value of all the parts taken adds up to $3,000. This crime is considered a class D felony.
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