Auto Theft Criminal Defense

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An Auto Theft charge can result in serious consequences if the person accused is convicted. Auto theft, which can also be known as car theft or grand theft auto, is essentially a property crime. This means that depending on the value of the vehicle the charges could range in severity. However, the nature of the crime can also worsen potential charges. Facing Auto Theft charges in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Florence, Orangeburg, Sumter, or Williamsburg County, can be life-altering and you need legal help to beat the odds. You need to contact a criminal defense attorney like Shaun Kent to start forming a solid legal defense as soon as possible.

Finding yourself facing auto theft charges in SC places you in a daunting and difficult situation. It’s not something you should try to do alone. Depending on your exact charges, you’re facing some potentially life-changing punishments.

What South Carolina defines as
Auto Theft

Depending on the price of the property (car) stolen the type of charge can either be a misdemeanor or felony. Theft, regardless of whether its a car or something else, is larceny. Larceny is the theft of personal property. In South Carolina property theft is categorized based on the following monetary value:

Something worth less than $2,000. Something worth between $2,000 and $10,00. And, something stolen worth over $10,000. 

Even if an item is valued under $2,000 and the charge brought forth is a misdemeanor the consequences can be serious.

Misdemeanor Car Theft

This can be referred to as petit larceny. If a person is charged with stealing a motor vehicle that is worth less than $2,000 then they would face a misdemeanor auto theft charge. The consequences of this possible charge are up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Felony Car Theft

The potential consequences quickly rise when comparing misdemeanor vs felony car theft. If someone is charged with stealing a vehicle worth between $2,000 and $10,000 then they could face a prison sentence of up to 5 years. Along with this, they could face serious fines. 

If the car is worth over $10,000 then they could see up to 10 years behind bars.

South Carolina Carjacking Charges

Carjacking is one of the most serious crimes a person can commit. If someone takes or attempts to take a vehicle from another person by force, violence, or intimidation, while the person is inside the vehicle then they could be charged with carjacking.

Prison sentences of up to 30 years are possible. The possible sentence depends on how serious, if at all, the victim of the carjacking was injured.