The crimes of grand theft auto and joyriding seem similar. In fact, they are similar, but there is a distinction between the two that people need to be aware of. The difference between the two crimes? The amount of time the person who took the vehicle intends to keep it.

Joyriding is the act of taking the vehicle of another with no intent of depriving the owner of their vehicle permanently. Grand theft auto, on the other hand, is when someone takes a vehicle with the intent of keeping it, selling it or otherwise depriving the owner of their car or truck permanently.

Knowing Intent

It can be difficult to discern the intent of a criminal, but the way in which the vehicle was recovered may offer some clues. One of the most common examples of joyriding is when a teenager takes a car without permission. It is typically clear that the child intends to return the car before anyone notices that it is gone.

Grand theft auto is typically charged when the vehicle is located at a sale, a chop-shop or still in the possession of the person who took it. It is logical to believe that the taking of a car in this type of situation is not a simple act of joyriding.

The Charge

Whether a person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Grand theft auto is normally charged as a felony, while joyriding can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. No matter how a person is charged, both of these crimes can have a very real impact on a person’s future.

If you or a loved one has been charged with carjacking in Orlando, you need the experience of a qualified criminal defense attorney on your side. Reach out to our team of attorneys today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will sit down with you, review the details of your case and advise you of the options you have under current Florida law. Call today for assistance.

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