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Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle

Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle is a State Jail Felony under Penal Code Sec. 31.07. To prove Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) an act which is intentional or knowing, which constitutes (2) operating a boat, airplane, or motor-propelled vehicle, and (3) without the effective consent of the owner.

In a prosecution for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, the State is not required to prove that an individual intended to commit Theft. In many cases, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle is considered a “lesser-included-offense” of Theft. Among other things, this means that a conviction for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Theft of the same vehicle would constitute Double Jeopardy.

The punishment range for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle is 180 days to 2 years in a State Jail Facility and a fine up to $10,000. An Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle case can turn on small and seemingly trivial details which may only be noticeable to a trained attorney. If you have been charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle contact our office today to meet with one of our attorneys and discuss your case.