Explain Auto Theft Defenses

What are the best California auto burglary defenses?

Being convicted of auto burglary in California is an extremely serious crime that should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, our expert Torrance criminal defense lawyers are well qualified to defend your rights when it comes to this type of charge.

Auto burglary refers to entering a locked vehicle with the following intent:

  1. To steal items from inside the vehicle (grand theft or petty theft);
  2. To steal the vehicle (grand theft auto);
  3. To commit another felony inside the vehicle.

Depending on your particular auto burglary charge, a California auto theft defense can include the following:

  • “It Was Not Your Intent to Steal” Defense: If you were inside a vehicle but did not intend to steal anything from it, then you cannot be convicted of auto burglary. Even if you did break into a car or truck with the intent of stealing valuables or money from the vehicle, a prosecutor will have a difficult time proving this allegation. It should be recognized, though, that it is within the rights of police officers to charge you with auto burglary in this type of situation.
  • “The Vehicle Door Was Not Locked” Defense: This type of auto burglary defense is a significant one, as the doors of a vehicle must be locked if you are to be found guilty of automobile burglary in California. To be convicted of this charge, you must alter the physical condition of the vehicle, such as by breaking a window or a seal.
  • “You Did Not Have the Intent to Deprive” Defense: This defense is utilized in a situation in which you had no intention of keeping the vehicle in question. Instead, you intended to use the vehicle on a temporary basis and, in turn, had no intent to deprive the owner of his or her vehicle permanently.
  • “You Received Consent from the Vehicle’s Owner” Defense: You must enter a vehicle without the consent of the owner in order to be charged with auto burglary. Thus, consent from the rightful owner of the car or truck negates this element altogether.

Robert Ernenwein, an expert and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, has over 30 years of experience defending persons accused of Auto Theft. Mr. Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys and is Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been named as a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News. The experience and capabilities Robert Ernenwein will bring to your Auto Theft Defense are unmatched.

Have you or someone you know been arrested for an Auto Theft charge? Contact the Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein to obtain a completely free consultation with an experienced Torrance criminal defense attorney.