Vehicle Theft and Crimes in Arizona

Flagstaff, AZ – Stealing a car in Arizona often results in the charge of Theft of a Means of Transportation, a class 3 felony crime.

There are a few different ways to be accused of theft of a means of transportation. The key words in Arizona criminal law relating to stealing cars are “permanently deprive.” See A.R.S. section 13-1814.

If a person controls another person’s vehicle with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle, that’s a class 3 felony charge. Other ways to commit the same crime include misrepresenting or lying in order to get the vehicle; controlling a vehicle you know has been stolen; or taking a vehicle with limited permission and converting it to be used beyond that limitation.

Another relatively unknown vehicle theft statute relates to Unlawful Failure to Return a Motor Vehicle Subject to a Security Interest. Did you know it is a crime to purchase a car on credit, fail to pay on the lien for more than 90 days, and then fail to deliver possession of the vehicle to the lienholder? Well, it is a crime. In fact, it’s a felony.

Certain statutory requirements must be met before you can be charged, but in today’s economy, many folks have vehicles they can’t afford. They stop paying. They want to file for bankrupcty, perhaps. Well, if the secured creditor knows how to apply the criminal law, they’ll come after those folks in default and seek either the return.

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