This is California and we live in our cars. Through out the state there are multi-jurisdictional agencies dedicated solely to the investigation and arrests of these cases. The most common charge is a violation of Vehicle Code Section 10851 is commonly referred to as Grand Theft Auto, or GTA.
Sometimes the state will also charge the accused with a violation of Penal Code 496 (Possession of Stolen Property) or Penal Code Section 666.5 (GTA with a prior GTA or any other theft crime conviction). Both Vehicle Code Section 10851 and Penal Code section 496 are “wobblers” which means that they can be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor by the judge upon a motion by your defense attorney pursuant to Penal Code section 17(b). A violation of Penal Code section 666.5 is not a “wobbler” and cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. If you have been charged with grand theft auto, call The Rodriguez Law Group today for a free consultation.
ELEMENTS OF GTA
To find you guilty of this crime the government must prove that you took a someone’s vehicle “without the consent of the owner” and with the “intent either to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner thereof of his or her title to or possession of the vehicle.” In other words they have to prove your intent, what was in your mind. And at this point the government still does not have a machine to read your mind and thoughts, so the government has its work cut out for it.
In the Los Angeles area, the overwhelming majority of GTA cases involve two distinct but common fact patterns. The first common fact pattern consists of family members or friends that lent their cars to the accused –that is they gave consent for the accused to take the car– and they would just call the police after a misunderstanding between the owner of the car and the family member or friend to whom they had lent the car. With just a phone call from the owner of the car, and without knowing all of the facts the police would just file a case and turn someone’s life upside down.
The second common fact pattern involves the arrest of people who unknowingly bought a stolen car. Sometimes, this is the cruelest of cases for the accused. What usually happens is that an unsuspecting person will unknowingly buy a stolen car. Somehow they will come in contact with the police, and the police won’t bother conducting a full investigation. All they care about it is that they have the stolen car in question and then they will just take you into custody, charge with a violation of Vehicle Code section 10851 and then impound “your” car. So now you are accused of a felony and facing the loss of your liberty. All because you wanted a good deal on a car. And the police or the D.A. will not spend anytime looking for the real culprit.
Hire A Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
Ambrosio E. Rodriguez worked in the GTA Unit while at the D.A.’s Office where he prosecuted hundreds of GTA cases. Mr. Rodriguez has first hand knowledge and expertise in how GTA cases are investigated and filed. Mr. Rodriguez knows all of the shortcuts taken by the police and the D.A.’s in GTA cases. More importantly, Mr. Rodriguez knows how often the police stop people without probable cause in violation of their Constitutional rights. The illegal stop is sufficient legal cause to have the case against you dismissed by the judge. Mr. Rodriguez has the expertise and legal training to make those motions and win them.
If you or a loved one has been charged with grand theft auto, you need a qualified Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney to protect your rights. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Rodriguez has the experience to aggressively defend you. Choosing a qualified criminal lawyer is an important and difficult decision. Call The Rodriguez Law Group today for a free consultation (800) 852 – 9851.