Pennington NJ Joyriding Attorneys
With Offices in Trenton and Pennington NJ
One of the most serious theft offenses in the State of New Jersey is auto theft. This is a crime that generally involves the theft of a motor vehicle for the purpose of permanently depriving the owner of the vehicle. However, even if you did not intend to permanently deprive someone else of their automobile, you can be charged with a felony-level offense. That’s because New Jersey lawmakers also criminalized “joyriding” in stolen vehicles. Moreover, you can be charged with a felony if you merely went along for a ride in a stolen vehicle.
Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a law firm that has more than 40 years of experience representing clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. During that time, our criminal defense team has successfully defended countless clients against joyriding charges in Mercer County, NJ, including Hamilton, East Windsor, and Hopewell. In fact, our familiarity with local courtroom procedure and personnel gives us an edge in your case because we have specialized institutional knowledge and unique insight into how the prosecutor thinks in these kinds of cases. If you or a loved one has been accused of joyriding, take the first step to winning your case and call KCR.
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-10: Joyriding Charges in Mercer County NJ
Joyriding charges are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-10. “Joyriding” is a term that refers to the temporary taking of an automobile. Generally speaking, this means that the offender took the motor vehicle and knowingly driving it without the owner’s consent. More specifically, the law prohibits anyone from taking, operating, or exercising control over a motor vehicle with the intent of temporarily withholding the motor vehicle from its owner.
It is also against the law for anyone to ride in a motor vehicle when they know that it has been taken or is being operated without the consent of the motor vehicle owner. A crucial element of this offense is that the passenger knew that the vehicle was being operated without the owner’s consent.
Penalties for Joyriding in Trenton
The penalties for joyriding vary, depending upon the type of vehicle that was taken and the circumstances of the offense:
- Motor Vehicle: If you are accused of temporarily taking, operating, or exercising control over another person’s motor vehicle, you may be charged with a fourth degree felony. A conviction can result in a sentence of up to 18 months in NJ State Prison.
- Motor Vehicle – Injury or Property Damage: If you are accused of taking, operating, or exercising control over another person’s motor vehicle and you do so in a manner that creates a risk of injury to any person or a risk of damage to property, you may be charged with a third degree felony. A conviction can result in a sentence of 3–5 years in NJ State Prison.
- Other Type of Vehicle: If you are accused of temporarily taking, operating, or exercising control over some other “means of conveyance,” you may be charged with a disorderly persons offense. A conviction can result in a sentence of up to 6 months in the local county jail.
Passengers in stolen vehicles are also subject to severe penalties. As set forth by the statute, anyone who enters and rides in a motor vehicle knowing that it has been taken or is being operated without consent of the owner may be charged with a fourth degree felony. This means that the law makes little distinction between being the driver of a stolen vehicle or simply being a passenger in a stolen vehicle.
Contact a Lawrence NJ Joyriding Lawyer
The criminal defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson have a proven track record of success in joyriding and auto theft cases. Call us anytime to speak with a member of our litigation team, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Pennington or Trenton.