If you have been charged with a felony, the legal team at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office is fully prepared to assist you. Michigan’s criminal laws can be complicated and difficult to understand, but we explain the charges against you and guide you through each step of the process. We have years of experience and legal knowledge that we use to get positive results for you. When you retain us to defend your charges, you can proceed with confidence.
If you are a business owner or a key employee in a company, you don’t want your felony charge to affect business. For example, if you are driving a company car and charged with a felony DUI, you need experienced criminal defense counsel. The same is true of a key employee being charged with drug possession or a sex crime. We have extensive experience in protecting both the individual and your business’s reputation in such matters. Let us provide the comprehensive services you want to safeguard your freedom and rights as well as the business’s reputation.
Felonies in Michigan are classified by the seriousness of the offense according to the following crime class categories:
Regardless of the class of felony, all felony charges are serious. A skilled criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between keeping your freedom and entering a prison cell.
Grand theft auto is the offense of stealing a motor vehicle. Like many other specific theft offenses, how an instance of alleged auto theft is charged depends on the circumstances of the case.
Automobile theft falls into many subcategories, each of which has a specific degree of charge and associated penalties. If you are facing a charge of automobile theft or any other theft charge, be proactive and start building your defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Unlike other types of theft, which are charged according to the value of the property stolen, motor vehicle theft is always charged as a felony. It does not matter if the vehicle is worth $1,000 or $100,000 – theft of a car is grand theft auto, a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or three times the value of the vehicle, whichever is higher.
The right defense strategy could result in your charge being dropped or lowered to a less severe charge. For example, a grand theft auto charge could be reduced to a joyriding charge by demonstrating that the defendant had the intention of returning the vehicle to its owner.
There is an important difference to note between automobile theft and joyriding: although both involve the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, individuals who commit the offense of joyriding intend to return the vehicles when they are finished. In Michigan, joyriding can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the alleged offender took the vehicle without permission or if he or she initially had permission to use the car, but drove it beyond the scope of this permission. A felony joyriding charge has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a misdemeanor joyriding charge is punishable by up to two years in prison.
Another type of auto theft charge is carjacking. This is the stealing of a vehicle through force or threat of deadly force. A carjacking conviction can result in life imprisonment for the defendant.
Other auto theft charges include:
At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we are equipped to protect your freedom, rights, and reputation. Contact us at 616-698-0000 or via our online inquiry page. Our office is conveniently located in Grand Rapids, MI, near the M6. We are also available on Skype by appointment.
To talk with our attorney about your legal concerns, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office by calling 616-698-0000. You may also complete our online contact form. After-hours consultations are available by appointment. We are also available on Skype by appointment.