The penalties and charges for stealing a car

The penalties and charges for stealing a car. In most of the counties, the crimes related to stealing a car or auto theft will fall under the vehicle’s code law and the general steal law. Both crimes can be a punishable act. But the level of penalties and charges will always depend on the situations and the level of theft.

Even though the punishment and penalties do vary state to state, country to country. Nonetheless, in this writing, you will get a common description of auto theft or stealing a car. So keep reading to learn more.

When is it considered as auto theft or car stealing?

There are some acts and theft behaviors which will consider as a criminal act. In order to prove theft criminals, the police have to prove certain things that will make that individual responsible for that act. In the case of stealing a car, the prosecutor has to show that the individual:

  • Drove other’s car
  • That’s belonged to others
  • Without the permission of the owner
  • Or in the intension of theft and forcefully took it from the owner.

Type of charges for stealing a car:

There are some countries where the stealing of a vehicle can carry a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine or 10 years of imprisonment. And also can be punished in both acts. The individual court can impose the following penalties for stealing a motor vehicle.

  1. Prison or jail sentence
  2. Home Detention
  3. Suspended sentences in some cases
  4. the service order by the community
  5. Fine a certain amount of money
  6. release order conditionally
  7. Section 10A and 10

Here are some short descriptions of the types of penalties and charges for stealing a motor vehicle in the following: 

Prison and jail sentence: 

This is the most common penalty and the most serious among them all. Because it involves imprisonment and full time in detention. Besides, this penalty will be strictly monitored and can be several years’ imprisonment.

Home Detention:

As a penalty for stealing a vehicle, home detention also can be imposed under the conditions of an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). This is just the alternative way for full-time imprisonment. If someone receives this kind of penalty, then in the home detention, it will be strictly monitored and supervised.

Suspended sentences in some cases:

Suspended sentences also refer to the jail sentences where the suspended upon you entering the prison with a good behavior bond. If you can provide all the good behavior bonds and follow all the instructions of jail, it will not come into effect. A suspended sentence can be sentenced for the imprisonment of up to three years.

Service order by the community:

This is also known as Community Service order (CSO). But nowadays, it is replaced with a one which is called Community Corrections Order (CCO). It is involved with some unpaid works in a specific place or has to present at a center to undertake a course specified by probation.

Fine a certain amount of money:

When you are fined for auto theft, the judge or the magistrate will charge you considering your financial condition and how severe the theft is. The amount of fine also depends on your ability to pay the fine.

Release order conditionally:

This is also widely known as CRO (conditional release order). Conditional release order is involved with some standard conditions where the criminal must not commit any kind of crime regarding theft or steal in the future.

Moreover, the offender has to present in the court every time before the court will call for the offender. Also, there are some more rules in this conditional release order.

Section 10A and 10.:

There are two sections regarding auto vehicle theft or stealing a motor vehicle. In the sections 10A, there is a conviction with no charges or penalties involved with it. If someone is sentenced with section 10A, then s/he will be convicted of that crime. And it will have also appeared in his or her criminal records.

In section 10, generally, when you convict in a criminal offense. The court will try to impose a penalty and also will make a criminal record. If the court proves you as a convict, then it will appear in your criminal record. 

However, if your lawyer can convince the court not to convict you, there will no criminal record and penalties. The court always has the discretion that it will not make you convict, but they can give you a Section 10 dismissal instead.


A conviction for motor vehicle theft or stealing can be a serious consequence (e.g., imprisonment, fine). If you are charged for auto theft, then you should contact a criminal defense lawyer in your area as soon as possible.

An attorney will tell you how your case is going in court and also can assist you in preparing your best defense. And also able to reduce the charge or the fined amount. Hopefully, the above writing will make you more concerned about the charges and penalties for auto theft or stealing a car.

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