Grand Theft Auto

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Protecting You Against Grand Theft Auto Charges

When a grand theft occurs and the item taken is a vehicle, the charge for the crime is then known as grand theft auto (GTA). Grand theft auto can be a serious crime and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and whether or not the defendant has any similar prior convictions. There are two laws that discuss the theft of a vehicle: Grand Theft Auto or GTA (which is considered the more serious of the two) and The Unlawful Taking or Driving of a Vehicle (also known as “joyriding”).

The difference between the two is intent and in order to be charged with GTA, it must be proven that the person intended to permanently deprive the owner of their car. In order to be charged with joyriding, it must only be proven that that defendant meant to temporarily deprive the owner of their car.

Depending on the specifics of the case, a person may also be charged with things like auto burglary (if the defendant broke into the car before taking it), burglary (if the defendant broke into a garage or other structure to take the car), and robbery or carjacking (if the defendant used force or threats to take a vehicle
directly from a person). GTA laws are complex and it is important to have a lawyer experienced with them on your side.

If you have been charged with grand theft auto, call a Lancaster criminal defense lawyer right away. Here at the Law Offices of David M. Wallin, we are dedicated to helping you with your case and getting the best possible outcome for our clients.


Getting charged with grand theft auto is no joke and you could be wondering if there is anything you can do to fight the charges. Some of the most common ways of defending against GTA are owner’s consent and intent. If it can be proven that you had consent from the owner to take the vehicle, or that you didn’t intend to permanently take the car, or even if improper police procedures were used at the time of your arrest, it may be possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Retaining an attorney should be your first step after a charge for grand theft auto so that you can get the help you need with your case.

Contact a Lancaster criminal defense lawyer
immediately after being charged with grand theft auto and find out how you can defend yourself.

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