Stealing from a car is called Larceny From a Motor Vehicle

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Felony and Misdemeanor Larceny from a Motor Vehicle

Michigan has some of the strictest laws related to stealing from cars and damaging cars. In addition to having some harsh penalties, the law that applies to Larceny From a Motor Vehicle is highly complex. Judges, prosecutors, and police officers have likely had something stolen from their vehicle or a family member’s vehicle, so these cases can feel personal. This is not how the criminal justice system is supposed to work. The Larceny from a Motor Vehicle defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will stand up and fight to make sure you are treated fairly and get every benefit and advantage the law allows.

Larceny From a Motor Vehicle Penalties

The penalty for Larceny From a Motor Vehicle may depend on what is stolen or the item’s value. A person who is convicted of felony larceny for stealing or unlawfully removing or taking a wheel, tire, airbag, catalytic converter, radio, stereo, clock, telephone, computer, or other electronic devices from a motor vehicle faces up to 5 years in prison, up to 5 years on probation, and a fine of not more than $10,000.00

If a person is convicted of stealing something other than one of the specific items listed above, the value of what is taken determines the maximum punishment. For example, if the value is:

  • Under $200, the maximum sentence is 93 days in jail and up to 2 years of probation.
  • Between $200 and $1,000, the maximum sentence is up to 1 year in jail and 2 years of probation.
  • Between $1,000 and $20,000, the maximum sentence is up to 5 years in prison and 5 years on probation.
  • Over $20,000, the maximum sentence is up to 10 years in prison and 5 years on probation.
  • One or more prior convictions can increase the possible punishment.
  • Fines can be as high as $15,000 or 3 times the value of the property, whichever is greater.

Breaking and Entering a Vehicle Causing Damage

Causing damage to a vehicle while someone commits or attempts to commit a Larceny From a Motor Vehicle is a separate felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to 5 years on probation. Under the statute, intent to damage is not necessary for a conviction; it is enough that something was broken, torn, cut, or otherwise damaged.

“Is taking something through an open window considered Larceny From a Motor Vehicle?”

If a car window is open and something is taken through the window, this is considered Larceny From a Motor Vehicle in Michigan. Opening an unlocked door, trunk, or compartment is considered Breaking and Entering, even if nothing is broken. Going through an open window and opening an interior compartment, like a glove box or center counsel, would change Simple Larceny into Breaking and Entering.

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“Can I avoid jail and a conviction if I’m charged with Larceny From a Motor Vehicle?”

A savvy criminal defense lawyer can work out a deal where the client avoids a conviction and jail time in many cases. If the client has a prior record or the value of the item stolen was high, working out a deal for no jail time can be challenging. The best hope of avoiding a conviction, a jail sentence, or lengthy probation would be a strong larceny defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law and is willing to do what is necessary to turn things around to the client’s advantage. Even in cases where the evidence is clear and overwhelming, there are strategies to help clients, and sometimes a conviction can be still be prevented.

“How can an experienced defense lawyer help me?

A great lawyer can accomplish amazing things in court. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience successfully defending clients in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb Counties and throughout Michigan, charged with Larceny From a Motor Vehicle charges. We have developed winning strategies to help clients who are wrongfully accused and need serious damage control. When other lawyers think incarceration is inevitable, we can often find a way to keep a client out of jail or prison.

“Why should I care about a larceny conviction if I have no other record?

A conviction for larceny can be life-altering in a terrible way. Finding good employment can be challenging with a theft or dishonesty conviction. Additionally, a theft conviction can complicate promotions or keeping a professional license. Even for someone in a private business, customers or future business partners may shy away from working with a person convicted of larceny.

An alien, Visa or Green Card holder, or anyone who is not a United States citizen, a larceny conviction may be viewed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and immigration courts as a crime of moral turpitude. A conviction can trigger deportation, inadmissibility, or denied re-entry into the country. Few lawyers have the expertise and skill to pursue every option to help a client avoid a conviction and possible deportation. 

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Criminal Defense Lawyers for Larceny From a Motor Vehicle

If you are under investigation or charged with Larceny From a Motor Vehicle or any related charge, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can provide you with a free consultation and confidential case evaluation. We will take the time to meet you, hear your story, answer all of your questions, and develop a strategy to protect and defend you. When there is no room for errors and false promises, you will want to work with the experienced defense lawyers at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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