Learn More About Auto Theft Charges

Auto theft charges in Arizona are serious and can bring catastrophic consequences. If you face auto theft charges, you should consider reaching out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, as your legal rights are on the line. At Chuck Franklin Law, we have more than 35 years of experience representing clients who have faced serious felonies in the state of Arizona.

Auto Theft in Arizona

Under Arizona's auto theft statute, a person may be found guilty of auto theft if that person unlawfully controls another person's vehicle or means of transportation with the intent to take that vehicle or means of transportation permanently. Auto theft pertains to any form of transportation, such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles, among others. As such, theft of a motorcycle is just as serious a crime as stealing a luxury vehicle.

A person may also be found guilty of auto theft if that person takes another person’s vehicle for a certain period without lawful authority or obtains another person’s vehicle through material misrepresentation with the intent of permanently depriving the other person of such vehicle. Additionally, a person who knowingly accepts a stolen mode of transportation may be found guilty of auto theft. Under Arizona law, all forms of auto theft are Class 3 Felonies, which carry potentially harsh jail sentences, fines, and lifelong consequences.

Potential Jail Time for an Auto Theft Conviction in Arizona

Under Arizona law, a person convicted of auto theft faces a Class 3 Felony, which carries a presumptive jail sentence of 3.5 years, and a maximum jail sentence of 7 years for first-time felony offenders. If mitigating circumstances apply to a person's case, which minimizes the severity of the crime, the jail sentence may be reduced to between 2 and 2.5 years. If aggravating circumstances apply to a person's case, the jail sentence may be enhanced to 8.75 years.

Repeat Felony Convictions

For repeat felony offenders, the potential jail sentence associated with a class 3 felony in Arizona varies based on the category of the felony at issue, as shown in the table below.

Category of FelonyMitigating CircumstancesMinimum TermPresumptive TermMaximum TermAggravating Circumstances
Category 12 Years2.5 Years3.5 Years7 Years8.75 Years
Category 23.25 Years4.5 Years6.5 Years13 Years16.25 Years
Category 37.5 Years10 Years11.25 Years20 Years25 Years

Because all cases are different based on the nature of a person's prior felony convictions, speaking with a qualified Arizona criminal defense attorney is an important step to consider when legal rights are on the line. All felony convictions lead to the loss of certain constitutional rights, such as the right to own a firearm or vote (at least temporarily). Some convicted individuals may face the permanent loss of voting rights.

Expert Auto Theft Defense in Arizona

Are you facing auto theft charges? If so, contacting an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney can help ensure your legal rights remain protected. At Chuck Franklin Law, we possess decades of experience and have represented the rights of accused Arizonians since 1987.

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