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Maryland Auto Theft Prosecution

Individuals charged with auto theft in Maryland should not try to defend themselves. Having an experienced defense attorney is paramount to their representation and hopeful dismissal. An experienced defense attorney is going to know the law, will be able to meet with the prosecutor, and to have productive conversations about the case to ascertain what direction the State’s case is headed.

Maryland attorneys with experience in auto theft will gather the necessary information, witness statements, and documents in preparation for trial, or work out the best potential plea offer for the defendant. There are many different ways that an attorney is beneficial to someone who is facing serious prosecution for their Maryland auto theft offense.

Prosecutor Proof

It is important to understand that the Prosecutors in Maryland auto theft cases will have to prove every single element of the offense. They will have to prove that the defendant acted knowingly and willfully when taking the motor vehicle, that the vehicle was taken from the owner’s lawful custody, control, or use, and that it was done without the owner’s consent.

They cannot just have evidence to prove one of those elements, they must have evidence to prove every element of the crime.

Evidence Needed

In order to convict a defendant of an auto theft, the State has to prove that the defendant knowingly and willfully took the motor vehicle from the owner. Sometimes, the defense is that this vehicle was borrowed or used by the defendant on previous occasions and there are some questions as to whether or not it was actually taken without the owner’s consent.

That is often the issue in prosecuting Maryland auto theft cases, the defendant having permission for previous use of the car and then, for whatever reason, the owner is alleging that the car was taken without their consent. If someone is being accused of auto theft, it is important to have a skilled attorney with them when going into trial.

Role of Attorney

In Maryland, when an individual is arrested, they will have what is called a first appearance in front of a Judicial Officer. That might mean a Commissioner from the District Court. Even at that level, individuals have a right to have an attorney present.

It is important to have an attorney at that initial appearance in front of the Commissioner, because the Commissioner has the responsibility of deciding if an individual can be released on their own recognizance or if they would need to post a bail in order to be released. An attorney knows what to say and what not to say in an effort to swing the Commissioner’s decision to allow an individual to be released on their own recognizance. A Maryland attorney experienced in auto theft can be incredibly beneficial at this state.

Even for a District Court matter, in the smallest of misdemeanors, it would easily take 45 days before the case goes to court. Handling everything appropriately at the arraignment can be the difference between being out and living in a person’s own home for that 45 days versus being incarcerated and sitting in jail for those 45 days. When considering the prosecution for Maryland auto theft offenses, skilled attorneys who have experience are going to be someone’s best ally.