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San Diego Vehicle Theft Defense Lawyer

Vehicle theft and burglary charges are taken very seriously by prosecutors and courts, and can result in long prison sentences. If you have been charged with theft or burglary of a vehicle in California state court, Mary Frances Prévost is an experienced auto theft and burglary defense lawyer who is dedicated to the zealous representation of clients in San Diego and the surrounding areas. For a free and confidential consultation about your case, call (888) 909-7896.

Auto Theft and Burglary under California Law

There are several different charges that can be brought against someone who is accused of committing a crime involving a vehicle in California. These include, but are not limited to:

Theft of a Vehicle under California Law

In California, the crime of theft is defined as the unlawful taking of someone else’s property. The theft will be considered grand theft when the property taken is:

  • Valued at more than $950, or
  • A car (or other vehicle) or firearm, or
  • Taken directly off of the person it belongs to (e.g., during a mugging).

Penalties for Grand Theft under California Law

The offense of grand theft is known as a “wobbler” in California. This means that prosecutors can decide whether to charge a defendant with either a misdemeanor or a felony (felony grand theft).

If you are convicted of misdemeanor grand theft, you could be sentenced to up to one year in county jail. If you are charged with felony grand theft, you may be sentenced to up to three years in California state prison. You may also receive a “strike” under California’s three-strikes law.

Auto Burglary under California Law

In California, the crime of auto burglary takes place when someone enters a locked vehicle or its truck, with the intent to:

  • steal the car (also known as “grand theft auto”),
  • steal property or personal items contained in the car, or
  • commit any other felony inside the vehicle.

It is important to understand that under California law, auto burglary is a subset of the general crime of burglary. In order to be convicted of burglary in California, you do not need to break into a house, apartment, or other residence. You can be convicted of burglary for breaking into an automobile of any kind with the intent to commit any crime once inside.

Penalties for Auto Burglary under California Law

In California, the offense of auto burglary is known a “wobbler.” This means that prosecutors can choose to charge you with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

If you are convicted of misdemeanor auto burglary, you may be sentenced to up to one year in county jail. If you are convicted of felony auto burglary, you may be sentenced to up to three years in California state prison. You may also receive a “strike” under California’s three-strikes law.

San Diego Vehicle Theft Defense Attorney

Mary Frances Prévost is an aggressive vehicle theft and auto burglary defense lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and prove your innocence. She represents defendants facing criminal charges related to vehicle theft and auto burglary in San Diego and the surrounding areas. Contact the Law Offices of Mary Frances Prévost to discuss your case today. Call (888) 909-7896 for a free and confidential consultation.

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