In Florida, there is no statute that specifically defines joyriding. Instead, state law covers joyriding in the theft statute. Theft, as a point of note, is defined as taking someone’s property without their permission with the intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive another’s use of a property. En Español.
Joyriding would mean that an individual is taking someone’s car just to take it for a ride but has no intent to permanently keep the car. If you are facing a charge as the result of a joyride, it is crucial to contact a theft attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable West Palm Beach joyriding lawyer can build a defense to help lessen any potential penalties you may be facing.
What is Joyriding?
In Florida, assuming that an individual stole or went joyriding in a car and the car was worth more than $300, the charge would be classified as grand theft. If the car was worth more than $20,000, the crime would be grand theft in the second degree. If the car was worth over $100,000, it would be classified as grand theft in the first degree. The elements of joyriding fall under the theft statute in Florida rather than a separate statute. To best understand these elements of joyriding, it is important to contact a West Palm Beach lawyer immediately.
Burden of Proof in Joyriding Cases
When looking to prove a joyriding charge, the prosecution must show that someone took someone else’s car without their permission. In essence, they must prove a theft. This offense is considered a theft because it is classified as taking someone else’s property without their permission.
The prosecution must prove that the person who was charged with joyriding took the vehicle without the consent of the owner, with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of the vehicle. They must also show that the individual was looking to deprive the owner the benefit of that vehicle, and prove the value of the vehicle at the time that it was taken.
Importance of Legal Representation in a Joyriding Case
Joyriding crimes usually involve younger people. West Palm Beach joyriding attorneys do not often find a senior citizen or an adult taking someone’s car for a ride without their permission. These crimes generally center around younger kids that may be curious about taking a joyride in someone’s vehicle.
It is always important, especially dealing with a juvenile, that an individual hires a West Palm Beach lawyer right away when dealing with a joyriding charge. There are lesser charges that an individual may face after joyriding, such as the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, which is more like a misdemeanor. In those circumstances, it will be the lawyer’s job to advocate for the client to try and negotiate a better sentence or better resolution. This can be done by talking to the police and by talking to the Prosecutor.
Benefit of a West Palm Beach Attorney
An experienced West Palm Beach joyriding lawyer can help to prove that the client in question has no record, does well in school, has a job, is active in the community, and that this crime is an aberration. An attorney can help to prove that this crime was an anomaly and that it is something that the person does not usually do. A lawyer can argue to give the person an opportunity to make sure that their records are not scarred for the rest of their lives.
An individual cannot argue for this after they are done with the Court. They cannot do that after the Judge has already passed a sentence, or after they are already in jail or prison for their crime. A local joyriding lawyer needs to get involved right away. Many times, the person whose car was stolen may have children that are of the same age and, as a parent, may not want to see any harm done to another parent, especially if there was no harm done to the property and the car is returned in good shape.
An attorney can help show that this was just an act of stupidity rather than an act of malicious intent. An experienced lawyer in West Palm Beach may be able to contact all the parties involved to try and get the charges reduced and the possible consequences reduced as well.