Grand Theft Auto Defense Attorneys in St. Louis
Providing Representation to Individuals Facing Criminal Offenses
The state of Missouri takes theft seriously. However, if you are facing a criminal charge for grand theft auto, you have options to strengthen your case and protect your rights.
Our attorneys at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC are committed to giving St. Louis residents facing charges a fair fighting chance in court. We understand that this is your future on the line and will advocate for you against the prosecution as we have done for myriad clients facing similar charges. With skill seasoned by more than 30 years of experience, we will help shield you from the ramifications of a criminal conviction.
Don’t wait any longer. Call the renowned team of lawyers at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC at (314) 334-3807.
What Is Grand Theft Auto?
In Missouri, grand theft auto (or vehicle tampering) is when one individual takes another individual’s vehicle without their consent. This may seem straightforward and easy to prove, but prosecutors often have a difficult time winning these claims because they must establish four different elements in a court of law:
- Appropriation of a motor vehicle: In other words, it must be proved that the defendant did indeed take the car in the first place.
- Another owned the vehicle: It must be established that the vehicle did not belong to the defendant in a major capacity when they took it.
- Acted with the intent to deprive the owner of the vehicle: The prosecutor must prove that the defendant had no intention of returning the vehicle to the owner, which includes if they intended to sell the vehicle. Otherwise, the crime might be considered a joyride instead of grand theft auto.
- Did not have consent to take the vehicle: As mentioned, there must be evidence that the defendant acted without the consent of the vehicle owner. Just as with other circumstances, consent cannot truly be obtained through deceit and/or coercion.
Please note that if violence or the threat of violence was involved, then it will be considered carjacking, not grand theft auto.
What Are the Legal Consequences?
Missouri law classifies the theft of an automobile as a class C felony, which can carry a fine of up to $5,000, one year in jail, or both. It may also be punishable by up to seven years in prison.
If convicted, you will also be stripped of some of your constitutional rights. You will not be able to practice your right to vote until your sentence, including any time spent on probation or parole, is fully complete. Similarly, you will not be allowed to bear arms unless your conviction is expunged by the state.
Unfortunately, a conviction for grand theft auto can also have negative impacts on your personal relations and career path. After serving a sentence, formerly incarcerated individuals are often met with stigma and have a difficult time finding work due to their record. They may face judgment from family and friends, as well.
Protect Your Future. Hire a Lawyer.
The Hammer Law Firm, LLC is home to a team of dedicated defense attorneys who have advocated for those facing charges in over 100 criminal jury trials, contested hearings, and bench trials. As former prosecutors, we have in-depth knowledge of the techniques that the prosecution may try to use against you; we can help fight back against these tricks of the trade. Safeguard your future. Put a competent legal team in your corner.
Contact The Hammer Law Firm, LLC online to discuss a grand theft auto case with an acclaimed St. Louis attorney.