Use of Motor Vehicle Without Authority in Massachusetts Lawyer

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Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, section 24(2)(a) states a person knowingly using a vehicle without permission may be charged criminally with use of a motor vehicle without authority. Unlike larceny or theft of a vehicle, which requires proof that your intent was to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle, use without authority presumes the vehicle will either be returned or abandoned where it will eventually be recovered by the owner.

If you have been charged with Use of Motor Vehicle Without Authority in Massachusetts, it is important to protect your rights as a conviction for use without authority in Massachusetts can bring considerable consequences. Ellison Law LLC has experienced criminal defense lawyers who routinely represent clients on many criminal motor vehicle offenses. You can contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys who can provide defense options for motor vehicle related offenses today.

What Must The Prosecution Prove To Convict On Use Without Authority In Massachusetts?

In order to convict you of a charge of use of motor vehicle without authority in Massachusetts the prosecution must prove the following three things beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. First, you used the motor vehicle;
  2. Second, at the time that motor vehicle was used it was done so without the permission of the owner, or the permission of some other person who possessed the legal right of control ordinarily exercised by the owner.
  3. Third, at the time the motor vehicle was used you knew you were not authorized to use that vehicle.

The prosecution typically attempts to prove this charge by having testimony from the owner of the vehicle other another person who is in charge of the vehicle.

Can I Be Charged With Use Without Authority If I Was A Passenger In A Vehicle?

Yes, a person does not necessarily have to be the driver to be charged with use of motor vehicle without authority in Massachusetts. Any person in the vehicle at the time in which the vehicle was moved may be charged with this crime. “Use” requires some movement of the vehicle; merely sitting on the passenger side of a stationary motor vehicle in a parking lot is insufficient. Commonwealth v. Linder, 17 Mass. App. Ct. 967, 967, 458 N.E.2d 744, 745 (1983)

What Are The Penalties of Use Without Authority In Massachusetts?

If convicted of using a motor vehicle without authority in Massachusetts the penalties vary depending on the total number of convictions under this statute a person has.

First offense

  • Minimum of 30 days up to 2 years in jail
  • Fine between $50-$500
  • Potential criminal conviction
  • Potential probation

Second offense

  • Minimum of 30 days to 2.5 years in house of correction
  • Up to 5 years in State Prison
  • Fine up to $1,000
  • Potential felony conviction
  • Potential probation

Third offense (past two have to be within five years):

  • Imprisonment in the house of correction for not less than 6 months nor more than 2 and a half years
  • State prison not less than 2.5 years nor more than 5 years.
  • Fine between $200-$1,000
  • Potential felony conviction
  • Potential probation

Contact An Experienced Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Defense Firm

If you are charged with Use of a Motor Vehicle Without Authority, it is a criminal offense in Massachusetts; therefore, it is important to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney. Ellison Law LLC has attorneys who consistently handle Use of a Motor Vehicle Without Authority cases. They work hard to obtain favorable outcomes and provide sound legal advice to all their clients. If you have been charged with Use of a Motor Vehicle Without Authority in Massachusetts, contact Ellison Law LLC today at 401-230-5520.

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