DC Joyriding Lawyer

Driving another person’s vehicle, when an individual knows they do not have that person’s permission to do so, constitutes the criminal offense of joyriding. When this is alleged, it is helpful to hire a DC joyriding lawyer because many people are not even aware that this is prosecuted as a crime. Therefore, a theft lawyer in DC can advise an individual about the criminal process and prepare them for the steps ahead. To discuss your case and begin planning a defense, call and schedule a consultation today.

What The Prosecution Must Prove

The prosecution must prove the following elements to sustain a conviction for joyriding. First, the prosecution must prove that the accused operated a motor vehicle for his or her own purpose. Second, the prosecution must prove that the accused operated the vehicle without the owner’s permission, and third, he operated the vehicle knowing it was without permission. A joyriding lawyer in DC can help to defend against these accusations

It is difficult to prove what was in a person’s mind, so the government may introduce facts or circumstances of the person’s behavior which may tend to show that he knew he was operating the motor vehicle without permission. For example, evading law enforcement or making apologies to the owner is evidence that the person knew he did not have the owner’s permission to operate the motor vehicle.

Example of Joyriding

An example of joyriding could be where a person asks his roommate to borrow his car to run errands while the roommate was going to be at work, but the roommate says no. It would be considered joyriding if even knowing the roommate did not give him permission to use his car, the person took the roommate’s car to the grocery store and the dry cleaners and returned the car before the roommate returned home from work. This would not be a theft, because he did not intend to deprive the roommate of the right to the vehicle.

However, it would qualify as an unauthorized use of the vehicle, since the roommate did not give him permission and he knew he did not have the roommate’s permission to operate the vehicle.

Failing to Return a Leased Vehicle

Failing to return a leased vehicle can also be characterized as joyriding, so long as the person operating the vehicle no longer has permission from the lessor and is aware he no longer has permission.

In a leased vehicle situation, the lessor has to send a letter to the lessee requesting that the lessee return the vehicle. If the lessee does not return the vehicle within 18 days after the letter has been sent, the lessee could be charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The letter serves as withdrawal of permission and puts the lessee on notice that he no longer has permission to operate the vehicle.

Role of a DC Joyriding Lawyer

A DC joyriding lawyer will be an individual’s advocate throughout the entirety of their criminal case. Their lawyer will discuss the case with them at length in an effort to come up with the strongest defense possible. This will prove helpful during negotiations with the prosecutor and especially during trial preparation and the trial itself.