Los Angeles Grand Theft Auto Lawyer

Los Angeles grand theft auto lawyerIn California, grand theft auto is a serious crime. Auto theft can actually lead to different criminal charges depending on the details of the incident. An alleged car thief can be charged with grand theft auto, or a driver or passenger in a stolen car can be charged with the lesser offense known as joyriding. The nature of the charges can vary depending upon whether you were a passenger, a driver, the amount of time the car was kept and whether force was utilized to take the car (which could place the offense under the category of carjacking). Grand theft auto charges are typically brought if a stolen car is kept for an extended length of time (whether or not it’s eventually abandoned) or if a car is sold for parts (or in some cases involving luxury cars, sold to an overseas buyer). If you’re charged with either joyriding or grand theft auto in Southern California, get legal help immediately. Call  Los Angeles grand theft auto lawyer Douglas Miranda at the Miranda Rights Law Firm.


In the state of California, if you steal a parked car off the street or from a garage or a driveway, it’s considered auto theft. But if you take a car directly from someone by using force or intimidation, it’s carjacking. It doesn’t matter if the person you take the car from is the owner of the car or not. If you’re accused of carjacking in the Los Angeles area, it’s a serious charge, and you’re going to need serious legal help fast. Contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer immediately for legal advice and representation as you deal with this serious charge.

Under California Penal Code Section 215, a carjacking happens when someone uses force or fear to take a motor vehicle from someone else with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive that person of the vehicle. It doesn’t matter whether the victim involved was the driver or passenger, or whether the person even owned the vehicle. Carjacking is a felony; a conviction is punishable by up to nine years in a California state prison. The penalty may be lengthier if a weapon is used in the commission of the carjacking, if the victim is injured during the crime, if a victim was kidnapped during the crime, or if the crime was committed for the benefit of a gang. As a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Douglas Miranda has handled a number of cases involving gang crime enhancements.

Carjacking is considered a violent crime, so on top of possible jail time and fines, you will also receive a strike on your record under California’s three strikes law. This means you will be one strike closer to three strikes, where you will face even harsher penalties including life in prison. This is why it is crucial to fight carjacking charges with the help of an experienced Los Angeles grand theft auto attorney.

Of course, an arrest for carjacking or any other crime is not the equivalent of a conviction. To be convicted for carjacking, the state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with carjacking because a witness has misidentified you, or if there was no carjacking and you’ve been falsely accused, a good defense lawyer will ensure that your side of the story is fully told and clearly understood.

Dealing with criminal charges is never easy for anyone, but if you’re accused of carjacking, exercise your right to remain silent and do not try to act as your own attorney. Instead, do what it takes to protect your freedom and your future. Obtain the serious legal help that you’re really going to need and contact an experienced Los Angeles grand theft auto lawyer as quickly as possible.


Both grand theft auto and joyriding are “wobblers” in California law. As a wobbler, these offenses can be charged and prosecuted either as misdemeanors or as felonies depending upon the circumstance of the case and whether the suspect has prior criminal convictions. The prosecutor will ultimately make the decision about whether the charge should be a misdemeanor or a felony.

However, grand theft auto is almost always charged as a felony with a possible sentence of sixteen months to three years in jail. A first offense for joyriding is almost always charged as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, a year in county jail, or both. These penalties may increase if the motor vehicle that you joyride in is an ambulance on an emergency call, a clearly marked law enforcement vehicle, or a vehicle modified for the use of a disabled individual. In these cases, joyriding may be charged as a felony and you may face up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

A number of defenses are possible in auto theft cases, and Los Angeles grand theft auto lawyer, Douglas Miranda can strategically help you. You may have had no intent to steal the car, which is a crucial element of this crime. Or, you could have been under the impression that the car rightfully belonged to you, and therefore did not believe it was stealing. Another defense strategy is to prove that the owner gave the defendant consent to use the car. Finally, law enforcement could have falsely accused you of committing grand theft auto. You may simply have gotten into the wrong car believing it was yours. After you meet with LA criminal defense attorney Douglas Miranda, the appropriate defense strategy will be chosen for your case based on the circumstances. If you have been charged with grand theft auto or joyriding, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Los Angeles grand theft auto lawyer.


Los Angeles grand theft auto lawyer, Douglas Miranda will investigate your case, offer sound legal advice and fight aggressively on your behalf. With more than a decade of criminal defense experience, Attorney Douglas Miranda routinely represents defendants charged with joyriding, carjacking and grand theft auto. He is prepared to represent you. As your defense lawyer, he will explain your legal options and work to develop the most effective possible defense strategy. At the Miranda Rights Law Firm, we put our experience to work for you. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Southern California grand theft auto lawyers today. Send an email, or call 213-255-5838. Se habla español.