Quincy Criminal Lawyer
Auto Theft Charges
Auto theft is a crime that is taken very seriously in the state of Massachusetts.
State officials have been cracking down on auto thieves through programs
that encourage arrests of car thieves. There were more than 30,000 cars
stolen in the state in 2011, according to the state's Executive Office
of Public Safety.
One example of the state's increased focus on auto theft arrests is
the Governor's Auto Theft Strike Force, which provides a confidential
toll-free auto theft tip line. Those who provide tips that lead to the
arrest of a car thief or that help locate a chop shop—operations
in which stolen cars are disassembled so their parts can be sold—could
receive cash rewards of up to $10,000. The Governor's Auto Theft Strike
Force has also taken steps to help catch car thieves through its VIN Etching
program, which permanently etches a car's Vehicle Identification Number
(VIN) into its window. The etching helps authorities identify stolen vehicles
more easily after they are reported stolen.
If you are accused of auto theft, you could be at risk of spending time
in jail or prison or being forced to pay a fine. That is why it is extremely
important that you find a
Weymouth criminal defense attorney who can help you defend yourself in court. By turning to a skilled legal
professional, you might be able to increase your chances of obtaining
favorable results in your case.
Auto Theft in Massachusetts
It is against the law in Massachusetts to steal or maliciously damage a
motor vehicle or trailer, according to Massachusetts
General Laws Chapter 266 §28. Stealing a car means taking it without the owner's consent or stealing
any of its parts or accessories. It is also illegal to buy, receive, possess,
conceal or obtain control of such a vehicle when the individual knows
or has reason to believe that it has been stolen. Removal, alteration
or destruction of a vehicle's identifying numbers can serve as evidence
that a suspected offender knew a vehicle or part was stolen.
Auto Theft Consequences
An auto theft conviction could result in a sentence of up to 15 years in
a state prison, up to two-and-a-half years in a jail or house of correction,
a fine of up to $15,000, or the combination of a fine with jail or prison
time. Anyone found guilty of concealing a motor vehicle or trailer thief
can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison or up to two-and-a-half years
in a jail or house of correction, as well as fine of up to $5,000. Those
who have previously been convicted of auto theft are subject to harsher
sentence and sentence reduction requirements, as well as more restrictions
for probation, parole and work releases once they are imprisoned.
How an Attorney Can Help
Being accused of a crime, including auto theft, can be an overwhelming
experience. A criminal defense attorney who fully understands the criminal
justice system can help you determine your legal options and argue your
case in court. Now is not the time to take matters into your own hands.
When your future is in jeopardy, it is best to turn to a professional.
By contacting my firm,
Flanagan & Associates in Quincy, Massachusetts, you can receive a free consultation and case
evaluation. I, Dave Flanagan, can sit down with you to discuss the details
of your case and identify a plan for addressing your legal needs. I can
provide you with personalized service and aggressive representation. My
firm, which handles many different types of criminal defense cases, serves
clients throughout the greater South Shore area. Let me assist you in
protecting your rights!