In Colorado, about 272 of every 100,000 people can expect to have their cars, trucks or other motor vehicles stolen in the space of a year’s time. That means that more than 13,400 vehicle thefts typically occur in the state each year, and Denver/Aurora is the top-ranked area for car thefts in Colorado. Stealing a motor vehicle can be either a felony or a misdemeanor offense, depending on the circumstances involved and on the value of the vehicle.
The Colorado auto theft defense attorneys at the law firm of Ellmann & Ellmann understand how many different situations can result in charges of auto theft. Because each case is unique, our legal experts know how important it is to sit down with you to fully explore the charges you face. We also know that arrests often don’t conveniently happen during standard office hours. That’s why the auto theft defense lawyers at Ellmann & Ellmann have made the commitment to be available when you need us. If you’ve been arrested for auto theft, we’re ready to act swiftly to protect your rights.
Colorado has undertaken particularly aggressive tactics to respond to vehicle thefts. State law created the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority for the specific purpose of reducing vehicle theft in the state. That means that increased efforts by law enforcement agencies can encourage assertive responses by officers when auto theft is suspected. It’s important to know that your legal rights aren’t jeopardized because of such an approach. If you’re charged with auto theft, rapid consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney can help ensure that you are protected from an overzealous law enforcement action.
Just what happens if you’re arrested? Law enforcement officers will advise you of your rights, including your right to speak with an attorney. Specific time-frames will apply to the procedures that follow your arrest, including the time within which you must be formally charged and bond determined. Because the procedures that follow your arrest can be complicated, securing the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney is especially vital. You need to know what to expect and how to respond effectively.
If you’ve been charged with motor vehicle theft, the Denver auto theft defense lawyers at Ellmann & Ellmann will take swift action to respond to those charges. We’ll work to reduce the possible penalties involved if the charges cannot be dismissed or the situation rectified through restitution to the vehicle owner. Even if you’re only facing a misdemeanor charge, a conviction can mean jail time and a record that might prevent you from securing future employment in some instances. Don’t gamble with your freedom or your livelihood. Contact the Colorado auto theft defense lawyers at Ellmann & Ellmann online or call us for a confidential consultation at (303) 814-2600.
Vehicle Theft and Colorado Law
In Colorado, first-degree aggravated vehicle theft happens when a person knowingly takes control of someone-Else’s vehicle without their permission or by deceit or threat. In addition, the individual who took the vehicle does one or more of the following:
- Keeps the vehicle 24 hours or more.
- Tries to change the vehicle’s appearance.
- Tries to change the vehicle identification number.
- Uses the vehicle to commit a crime.
- Causes more than $500 property damage in the course of stealing the vehicle.
- Injures someone while in control of the vehicle.
- Takes the vehicle out of Colorado for more than 12 hours.
- Switches the vehicle’s license plates.
Many other elements can figure into vehicle theft charges in Colorado. Penalties depend on multiple factors and can result in substantial fines, loss of driving privileges, jail or prison time, and more.
Source: Colorado Statutes