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Auto Theft and Criminal Defense

The act of stealing a vehicle is called auto theft. Although portrayed differently in the media, car theft is not the glamorous and exciting crime as seen on television, but rather a serious Indiana felony crime that comes with lasting consequences. If you have been charged with auto theft in Indiana, it is vital to your future and your freedom to retain competent legal services. David E. Lewis, Attorney at Law, has extensive trial and litigation experience in the criminal law field and knows how to position you in front of the courts in a way that’s most favorable to your case. Call his office at 317-636-7514 to safeguard your future and your freedom, today.
Which Auto Theft Offense Were You Charged With?
Auto theft does not apply to just cars and trucks; it also includes boats, motorcycles, campers, and other vehicles.There are several different types of car theft offenses that a person can be convicted of in Indiana. As to which auto theft charge a person faces, it depends on the case circumstances and the details of the crime committed.
Primary Types of Auto Theft Crimes:
Auto Theft
In order to be charged with auto theft, prosecution must prove without a reasonable doubt that (a) the person knowingly took another person’s vehicle without owner permission with the intent to permanently deprive them of its value or use; or (b) the person steals auto parts from another person’s vehicle with the intent to sell them for profit.
Unauthorized Use (Joy-Riding)
If a person takes another person’s vehicle without permission with the intent to return it, they are violating Indiana’s Unauthorized Control of a Vehicle Statute, a crime commonly called joy-riding. Although it is a crime, it is not a car theft crime. Instead, it is charged as a less serious misdemeanor crime. If you or your teenager have been charged with the joy-riding in Indiana, it is important to call Attorney David E. Lewis for effective criminal defense.
Not Returning a Rental Vehicle
In the case that a person rents a vehicle from a commercial business, and then fails to return it after 30 days of signing the rental car agreement (or 3 days following a written demand for the vehicle’s return), then they are guilty of an auto theft crime. If a written or mailed demand for the vehicle’s return is sent to the address on the signed agreement (in which case they would have 3 days to comply), but the person no longer lives there, they cannot use that as a defense.
Burglary and Car Theft
If a person breaks into private property, like a garage or shed, and steals another person’s vehicle, they can be charged for both burglary and auto theft in some cases. For multiple felony charges like these, you would need a hard-hitting car theft lawyer like David E. Lewis to reduce or avoid the maximum penalties for this crime.

Car theft crimes are penalized as Level 6 Felonies, or worse depending on enhancements and priors. These are punishable by up to 3 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. For this reason, you need a skilled car theft lawyer with experience in criminal litigation. David E. Lewis, Attorney at Law, is the tough and aggressive advocate you want on your side when it comes time to fight your criminal charges. When you hire David E. Lewis, you don’t have to fear for your future and your freedom following an arrest for car theft. His ultimate strategy is to ensure his client’s don’t receive the maximum penalties for their charges. With him on your legal team, you can trust you are in the right hands. Call his office directly at 317-636-7514 and SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION to evaluate your case.


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