Individuals face criminal charges for stealing another person’s car in California. After a conviction, subsequent acts of auto theft are prosecuted more harshly. California uses Penal Code 666.5 as a sentencing enhancement for auto theft with a prior.
PC 666.5 increases the period of incarceration after an auto theft conviction. Note that PC 666.5 is not a stand-alone criminal charge. It only serves to increase the penalties for an auto theft conviction. Find out more by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Call (310) 997-4688 for help.
Auto Theft in the State of California
PC 666.5 is tied specifically to auto theft charges in California. Auto theft charges apply anytime someone takes another person’s motor vehicle without their permission. There are different kinds of auto theft charges, including:
Penal Code 487(d)(1): Grand Theft Auto
Grand theft auto is the charge many people think of first when it comes to auto theft. Individuals can face grand theft charges for taking someone else’s vehicle without intending to bring it back. Permanently depriving someone else of their vehicle is always a grand theft auto charge.
Vehicle Code 10851: Joyriding
In some cases, individuals face joyriding charges after taking someone else’s vehicle. This charge applies if the accused intends to return the vehicle to the rightful owner. This means that the vehicle is only taken on a temporary basis.
PC 666.5 as a Sentencing Enhancement in California
It’s important to understand that PC 666.5 is not a stand-alone criminal charge in Los Angeles. Instead, this section of the penal code only increases the penalties for other charges. PC 666.5 comes into effect if an individual has a past conviction for any form of auto theft on their record.
Note that auto theft convictions do not “fall off” of a criminal record after a certain period of time. They will remain on an individual’s record unless they are expunged. Expungement removes criminal charges from someone’s record.
However, in some cases, the courts do not consider an expungement in California. You can reach out to the Simmrin Law Group if you have questions about removing a criminal charge from your record. Allow us to assess your situation by calling (310) 997-4688.
Results of an Auto Theft with a Prior Conviction
PC 666.5 increases the penalties for auto theft in California. A first-time conviction for auto theft could lead to incarceration for up to three years. PC 666.5 allows the court system to increase the amount of time an individual spends behind bars for auto theft. Under PC 666.5, individuals can spend up to four years in prison.
Additionally, auto theft can lead to very high fines. In some situations, individuals can receive probation after an auto theft conviction. You can get additional facts about how to fight these charges from a grand theft auto lawyer in Los Angeles.
A lawyer could provide help with a first-time or subsequent conviction for auto theft. Members of our team can also help you understand other charges associated with auto theft, including carjacking and auto burglary.
Legal Defenses for Auto Theft with a Prior Charges
All auto theft charges in California should be taken seriously. We’re here to help if you are accused of auto theft with a prior. We can help you argue that:
- You don’t have a past conviction for auto theft
- Your past auto theft conviction was expunged
We could also help if you had a past auto theft conviction sealed. Criminal convictions are often sealed for minors. You should not have to face increased penalties for an auto theft conviction if your record was sealed as you turned 18.
Our team can also take steps to show that you did not commit auto theft. For example, you should not face sentencing enhancements if you had someone’s consent to take their vehicle. We could also work to show that you took a vehicle that you believed belonged to you. Find out more about all your options by contacting us.
Speak to a Lawyer About Auto Theft with a Prior Charges
The Simmrin Law Group is here if you are accused of auto theft with a prior under PC 666.5. Allow our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers to assist you. We’ll work to build your defense to increase your chances of reducing your charges or even getting them dismissed. Find out how with a free consultation.
Reaching out to us for help is easy. Just call (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form.