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Car Theft

I am a valet at a country club. I “borrowed” one of the member’s cars to “test drive” it. It was a really hot Porsche. I got arrested and charged with Theft Unlawful Taking, Theft Receipt of Stolen Property, and Unauthorized Use of Auto. Will I be found guilty?

If your intent was to simply take the car out for a joy ride and you had no intent to permanently deprive the owner of his car, then you should be found guilty of Unauthorized Use only, which is a misdemeanor.

In Pennsylvania, under a case called Matthews, if your intent is only to go joy riding, you are only guilty of UUA. While the Receipt of Stolen Property statute says that if you know ro should have known that the item in your possession was stolen that you are guilty of RSP, car case are the exception and you should only be found guilty of UUA.

If you want the Matthews site, email me.

1 Comment on Car Theft

  1. The intent to permanently deprive the owner of his or her car is the issue. If your intent was to joy ride then it is clear you intended to return the car, hence not permanently depriving the owner of the car. You can only be guilty of a theft crime if you intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property.

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