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Temple Criminal Defense > Blog > Theft > Auto Theft In Texas: 5 Things To Know

Auto Theft In Texas: 5 Things To Know


When you are facing any kind of theft-related charges in Texas, it is going to be essential to develop a strong defense that is tailored to the facts of your case. Theft is a broad area of criminal law under the Texas Penal Code, and it includes a wide variety of theft offenses that can be charged in the state. The broad offense of “theft” can include charges for auto theft, or grand theft auto as it is commonly known. Charges for stealing a vehicle can result in severe penalties if you are convicted. As such, you should get in touch with a Temple auto theft defense attorney as soon as possible. In the meantime, the following are five things you should know about auto theft charges in Texas.

  1. Texas Does Not Have a Specific Statute for Auto Theft 

Many states have specific statutes under which a prosecutor can charge the specific theft of an automobile, or grand theft auto charges. The Texas Penal Code does not have a specific section for grand theft auto. Rather, many vehicle theft charges are brought under Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code, or the general theft section.

  1. Texas Charges for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle Are Distinct from Auto Theft 

While the Texas Penal Code does not have a specific charge for grand theft auto, it does identify the specific vehicle-related crime of “unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.”

  1. You Could Face Auto Theft-Related Charges for Possession of Certain Abandoned or Wrecked Vehicles, or a Vehicle Known to Have Been Stolen 

Auto-related theft charges can include buying or selling abandoned or wrecked vehicles that were previously stolen, or being in possession of a vehicle that is known to have been previously stolen.

  1. Penalty Will Usually Depend Upon the Value of the Motor Vehicle 

The penalties you will face for a conviction will usually depend upon the value of the vehicle stolen. Accordingly, motor vehicle theft charges can be misdemeanor or felony offenses depending upon the value of the vehicle in question. The unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is a state jail felony offense.

  1. Multiple Defense Strategies May Be Applicable to Your Case 

Since there are a wide variety of circumstances under which you could face theft charges in connection with the use or possession of a motor vehicle, it is important to know that there may be multiple kinds of defense strategies that could be applicable to your case. For example, if you are facing charges for stealing a vehicle or for unauthorized use of a vehicle, you may be able to prove that you had the owner’s consent. Or, for example, you may be able to show that you had an alibi at the time of the alleged vehicle theft. Many other defense strategies may exist, as well, and will likely be specific to your circumstances.

Contact a Theft Defense Attorney in Temple, Texas 

When you are facing charges for motor vehicle theft, you should get in touch with a Temple theft defense lawyer at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC who can assist you with your defense.



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