694 attempted motor vehicle thefts and 11,488 completed motor vehicle thefts were reported in 2009, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Automobiles accounted for 82.4 percent of stolen vehicles. Trucks or buses accounted for 8.6 percent and other vehicles accounted for 9.0 percent.
If you are accused of auto theft, you want a Colorado criminal defense attorney with experience handling this type of case. Your attorney can advise you of your rights under the law and make sure you receive fair treatment. He will review the evidence to determine if your actions constitute theft and advise you of your defense options in the event you are charged.
Aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree occurs when a person knowingly seizes a motor vehicle belonging to another person without their permission or by deception or threat and:
- Retains control or possession of the vehicle longer than 24 hours;
- Attempts to alter the vehicle’s appearance;
- Attempts to remove or alter the vehicle identification number;
- Uses the vehicle to commit a crime other than a traffic offense;
- Causes more than $500 of property damage, including damage to the vehicle, in the course of seizing the vehicle;
- Injures another person while exercising control of or possessing the vehicle;
- Takes the vehicle out of state for longer than 12 hours; or
- Unlawfully attaches vehicle license plates on the vehicle other than those officially issued for the it.
Aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree is a Class 4 felony in Colorado if the vehicle has a value of less than $20,000; a Class 3 felony if the value is more than $20,000 or if the offender has been twice previously convicted of motor vehicle theft in the state of Colorado, any other state, the U.S. or any territory subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Aggravated motor vehicle theft in the second degree occurs if a person knowingly seizes a motor vehicle belonging to another person without their permission, or by threat or deception, absent of the aggravating factors involved in a first-degree offense. Second degree aggravated motor vehicle theft is a Class 5 felony if the value of the vehicle is more than $20,000; a Class 6 felony if the value is more than $1,000 but less than $20,000; and a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value is less than $1,000. A good Colorado criminal defense attorney will do all he can to get you the lightest sentence possible under the law while preparing you for the worst possible outcome.