Car Theft Charges in Washington
Washington State ranked 3rd in the United States for the highest number of reported car thefts in 2022, with a staggering total of 46,939 stolen vehicles. This represents a significant 31% increase from the figures recorded in 2019, highlighting the pressing need for legal representation in car theft cases. Due to the intricate technicalities involved in such crimes, it is essential to engage skilled and knowledgeable attorneys to defend against car theft charges in Washington. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer has a team of experienced attorneys who are fully equipped to provide you with high-quality defense representation.
What are the different laws surrounding car theft?
Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle are two of the most common charges in the State of Washington, either of them being distressing to face. However, the legal landscape is more nuanced and there are other laws that will render you more susceptible to facing charges. Car theft charges can range from Misdemeanors to Class B Felonies, all of which carry serious legal consequences.
Theft of a Motor Vehicle: Theft of a Motor Vehicle is defined as taking a vehicle with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their vehicle. In the State of Washington this is classified as a Class B Felony and can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to $20,000.00 in fines.
Possession of a Stolen Vehicle: Possession of a Stolen Vehicle is defined as possessing a vehicle with the knowledge that it was stolen. This charge is categorized as a Class B Felony and can carry up to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000.00 in fines.
Taking a Motor Vehicle Without Permission in the 1st Degree: This is charged when a person takes a motor vehicle and attempts to alter, conceal, or sell the car without the owner’s permission. Taking a Motor Vehicle Without Permission in the First Degree is a Class B Felony and penalties can range up to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000.00 in fines. Despite having the same classification as Possession of a Stolen Vehicle or Theft of a Motor Vehicle, this charge is generally considered more serious which may result in harsher penalties.
Taking a Motor Vehicle Without Permission in the 2nd Degree: This is applicable when a motor vehicle is taken without the owner’s permission, or when a person is riding or driving a stolen vehicle without knowledge of it being stolen. If you are borrowing another individual’s car without their express permission you may be liable for being charged with Taking a Motor Vehicle Without Permission in the Second Degree. This charge is classified as a Class C Felony and so the penalties can range up to 5 years in prison, and up to $10,000.00 in fines.
Making or Possessing Motor Vehicle Theft Tools: Making or Possessing Motor Vehicle Theft Tools is typically charged when a person is caught manufacturing or possessing tools with the intent to use them in the theft of a motor vehicle. Examples of such tools include but are not limited to false keys, slide hammers, nippers, and various other tools that are commonly involved in carjacking or car theft. Making or Possessing Motor Vehicle Theft Tools is a Gross Misdemeanor and can carry up to 364 days in jail along with up to $5,000.00 in fines.
What can the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer do for you?
Defending against these charges can be difficult, which will require lawyers with skill and experience in order to raise a quality defense. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer have the experience and knowledge that is needed, and are more than happy to represent you in a court of law. We know it can be stressful to have to face charges such as these, but our lawyers will be with you every step of the way offering guidance and support in your case.
Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 and schedule your free consultation.