In Massachusetts use of a motor vehicle without authority is a crime. The difference between larceny of a motor vehicle and use without authority is the intent permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle.
Use of A Motor Vehicle Without Authority
In order to prove the charges against you, the Commonwealth must prove three elements.
1. You used the motor vehicle;
2. That you did so without the permission of the vehicle’s owner; and
3. Also, you knew that you were not authorized to use the vehicle.
The prosecutor must prove the vehicle was used. Massachusetts courts said “use” is not limited to driving. Even being a passenger is an example of using a vehicle.
In order to establish that you used the vehicle without the owner’s permission, typically the owner will have the testimony that he or she did not authorize you to use it. Finally, proving the element of knowledge that you did not have the authority to use is usually the most critical in your defense. Often times these charges result from a misunderstanding, especially if you were the passenger in the vehicle.
Use of A Motor Vehicle Without Authority Penalty
What is the penalty for use without authority? The penalty is a minimum mandatory sentence of 30 days in jail and/or fines of up to $500. For second, and subsequent convictions, the penalty is a minimum mandatory sentence of 30 days and up to 5 years imprisonment. Second offenses are felonies in Massachusetts. These are very serious consequences so it is extremely urgent that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to ensure the best possible results.