Consequences of Richmond Auto Theft 

Auto theft refers to the theft of a motor vehicle. It is considered a felony offense whenever the vehicle or vehicles are valued at more than $500, meaning that most auto thefts are going to be felony offenses. Now, on the rare occasion, an individual can be charged with stealing a car that is not worth $500.
However, regardless of the cost of the vehicle, the person will still face the consequences of Richmond auto theft. That is why if you have been charged with auto theft, you should work with a determined auto theft lawyer that can attempt to build a solid defense for you.

Consequences for First-Time Offenders

If charged with auto theft, an individual will be arrested and taken to the Richmond City Jail, renamed the Richmond Justice Center. They are likely going to be held for some amount of time in the city jail.
One of the consequences of Richmond auto theft, besides arrest, would be the court costs, fees, and appearances. The person may be looking at up to 20 years in jail and $2,500 in fines. They also face the possibility of losing their liberties, the right to vote, or the right to possess a firearm.

Long-Term Consequences of Conviction

One of the long-term consequences of Richmond auto theft that an individual may face is the possibility of losing their job and also being red-flagged on most criminal background checks as somebody who steals. They will be convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, which limits their ability to testify in future court proceedings after their conviction.

How Consequences Differ for a Second-Time Offenders

While an individual is still going to be facing, at a technical level, up to the same maximum penalties, the consequences of Richmond auto theft that they face are worse because the chances of them getting a higher penalty are going to be increased due to the previous offense.

In a second offense, an individual has already been found guilty of one auto theft. Once again, the Virginia Sentencing Commission is in charge of something called the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines and they are a rubric that breaks down most of the offenses in the State of Virginia as to how somebody who is convicted of these offenses should be sentenced depending on the facts of their particular case and their criminal history.

How Sentencing Guidelines Suggest Handling Repeat Offenders

With auto theft, if an individual has a previous auto theft on their record, then the recommendation from the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines is going to increase with every subsequent auto theft.

With a first offense, they are looking at up to 20 years but the court is likely to give them probation or incarceration. On the second, the consequences of Richmond auto theft are much more severe. Not only is an individual going to be looking at up 20 years in prison, the recommendation could be one to two years or four to five years or six to seven years, depending on what their record looks like.

Jury’s Reaction to Multiple Auto Thefts on a Person’s Record

Having multiple auto thefts on an individual’s records is going to be bad in that aspect as well as if their case goes to a jury. A jury is less likely to be lenient on someone who is a multiple-time offender or someone who has spent their time stealing from others because when it comes to a jury and theft crimes, especially things such as auto theft, breaking and entering, robbery, or a carjacking, most juries see this as things that could have happened to them. Juries will often press for harsher sentencing because they believe that the individual is incapable of changing (due to the repeat offenses) and may pose a threat to the community.

A skilled auto theft lawyer can try to work with the charged individual in order to soften the jury’s view of the defendant, and potentially mitigate the severity of the consequences of Richmond auto theft that the person may face. If an individual has been charged with auto theft, they should consult a qualified auto theft lawyer as soon as possible.

Richmond Auto Theft Lawyer