Tag Archives: Criminal Law Attorneys

Vehicle Theft vs. Joyriding: Things That Tell Their Difference

Joyriding PenaltiesJoyriding is a popular scene that you probably think only happens in movies. This happens in real life, too. The truth is, joyriding is a crime punishable by law. Although often considered a lesser offense, violators may receive punishment by jail time and sometimes with fines.

Vehicle Theft vs. Joyriding

In general, the act of stealing a car with intent to gain ownership is vehicle theft. Often, vehicle theft is a felony offense. Using a car temporarily without consent, on the other hand, is joyriding and it's a less serious offense than vehicle theft in most states.

State Laws and Joyriding

David A. Nachtigall and other criminal attorneys say that states define joyriding differently. Some states define it as the act of borrowing a car without the owner’s consent, while other jurisdictions define it as the act of taking a car with the intention of gaining temporary ownership.

In some states, joyriding is a lesser-included offense or an offense for committing some elements of a bigger or greater crime. States that disagree consider the two as different crimes. Therefore, a person can be facing two charges at the same time for an unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Moving on, other states broadly define vehicle theft as any act of using a vehicle without the owner’s consent and automatically classifies the offense as a felony. Joyriding is only for crimes too much for a felony conviction.

Joyriding Penalties

The punishment for joyriding may be a combination of any of the following:

  • Jail time for not more than a year
  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • License suspension
  • Community service
Enhancement of Penalties

Like in any criminal offense, punishment for joyriding may escalate under some conditions. For example, failure to return the vehicle within 48 hours or using the vehicle to commit a crime would mean a more serious joyriding offense.

Joyriding may be fun, but can be a cause of unwanted charges. Seek help from a lawyer even if you think joyriding is less serious than vehicle theft.

Legal Issues in Business: How Criminal Law Attorneys Can Help

Law Attorneys  For a criminal lawyer to thrive on his or her career, it is important to have a niche. Most criminal lawyers in Houston specialize in representing clients that have been charged with violent crimes, such as robbery, murder, and aggravated assault. Other attorneys represent clients charged with gambling, white-collar crimes or driving under the influence.

Criminal lawyers work with a diverse client portfolio. They are well versed in matters of criminal charges, civil litigation and investigations.

Functions of Criminal Attorney

Legal professional David A. Nachtigall shares that representing clients is the major responsibility of an attorney. However, they are responsible for gathering evidence that can be used in the acquittal of their clients. They are also involved in the jury selection process. A jury is capable of making or breaking a case.

Attorneys provide clients some information on the pleas that they can take based on the direction of where the case is going. Negotiation with the prosecution is another duty of an attorney. An experienced one should be able to persuade the prosecutor to reduce the sentence or settle the case outside court in the event that the client pleads guilty.

Services Offered by Criminal Lawyers

During the pre-trial period, you can seek the services of a lawyer. This happens during the investigation period where the client is a suspect and believes that he might get costly charges. The lawyer will provide some instructions to refrain from giving out incriminating information.

In the event of insufficient evidence, your lawyer can help you convince the court to drop the charges based on lack of sufficient evidence. Before an arrest is made, a police officer needs probable cause to believe that you might have committed a crime. Your defense lawyer can challenge the officer and have you released.

In case you are faced with criminal charges, do not hesitate to consult criminal lawyers. A defense lawyer will seek to exonerate you from any wrongdoing.