Today we will explain the criminal consequences of the theft of a motor vehicle or moped.
The penalties for this crime will depend on two circumstances:
1. Whether or not there has been a spirit of appropriation of the vehicle by the offender.
2. If force or violence has been used at the time of stealing the vehicle.
Depending on these circumstances, the penalty for such crime will be higher or lower.
When does the offender have the intention of appropriating the vehicle?
The law defines that there is intent of appropriation of the vehicle when the offender does not return it within 48 hours.
When the object is returned or found before the 48 hours have elapsed, it is considered that there is no intent of appropriation.
The return can be verified:
- Directly: by the person returning the vehicle to the owner, or communicating with the owner.
- Indirectly: By leaving the vehicle where it was stolen or in a place where the owner can easily find it.
Here are a couple of examples:
If a vehicle is stolen and recovered by the Police within 72 hours, it is interpreted that the subject acted with the intent to take possession of the thing and it is considered as a crime of theft or vehicle theft depending on whether force or violence was used to steal it.
If the vehicle is rescued 24 hours later in the vicinity of where it was stolen, it is not considered as a theft of the thing but as a crime of theft of use.
The punishment for a crime of theft of use of a vehicle without the intention of appropriation.
The award you are given for the commission of a crime of theft of use of a motor vehicle without intent to appropriate can be of two types:
- The penalty of community service of 31 to 90 days.
- The penalty of a fine of 2 to 12 months.
Where is the crime of theft of a vehicle regulated?
The theft of a motor vehicle or moped is regulated in art. 244 of the Penal Code.
What happens if the theft of the vehicle is considered to be for the purpose of appropriation?
In the event that more than 48 hours have elapsed since the theft and the vehicle and its author are finally found, it is considered that the author had the intention to keep it, so the facts will be typified as a crime of basic theft or robbery. It is important to have a lawyer to defend you in this type of lawsuit.
Normally, it is considered a crime of vehicle theft, in which case it will be necessary to distinguish whether force was used to steal the vehicle or violence.
- If force was used to steal the vehicle, the penalty is 1 to 3 years imprisonment.
- If violence was used to steal the vehicle, the penalty is 2 to 5 years imprisonment.
Is the misdemeanor offense of theft of a motor vehicle or moped contemplated?
The answer is that it is not contemplated in the current Penal Code.
What does happen is that, if we speak from the criminal point of view regarding the term of cancellation of criminal records, it will not be the same if you are sentenced for this crime to pay a fine of 2 or 3 months, which is a penalty classified as minor. Or that you are sentenced for the same crime to community service, which as we have seen is from 31 to 90 days, which is a penalty classified as less serious. If you want to avoid being convicted and having a criminal record, although it is not mandatory to come with a lawyer to this type of trial, it is highly recommended that you do so and thus avoid greater evils.
For this crime you will have a criminal record that will have to be expunged.