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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 37370
Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
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Is it still considered a felony (grand theft auto) if

Customer Question

Is it still considered a felony (grand theft auto) if someone steals a vehicle and returns it several months later?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Is it still considered a felony (grand theft auto) if someone steals a vehicle and returns it several months later?

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Yes, the fact that the vehicle was returned wouldn't erase the criminal violation that occurred when it was stolen or taken without the owner's permission. It is like robbing a bank and giving the money back.... you still robbed the bank to start with..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does that mean it's okay to file a police report?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

I am not sure what you mean... If it was your car that was stolen, then yes, you can file a police report.

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But if you never filed a police report initially, the police are going to ask you why and it is probably pretty unlikely that a DA is going to follow up and file a formal criminal charge because it would look more like you loaned your car to someone and they kept it and didn't' return it, which is more of a civil matter for "conversion" (the wrongful keeping of property of another) and "replevin" ( a legal action for its return).

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Most people immediately contact the police when their car is stolen and file a report so the police can put out an alert for law enforcement to look for the car. Waiting several months after a car is taken, used, and then returned to file a formal criminal complaint just smells fishy..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, I couldn't do anything about it because I was caring for my Mother full time, taking her to doctor after doctor and she was recently diagnosed with end stage Alzheimer's disease. I have since placed her in a home and am still trying to clean up the mess her estate is in.I just tried filing a police report, and no luck. I was told this is a civil matter. Glad to see my taxes working so hard for me. Unreal how this guy can get away with stealing her vehicle, her possessions and her 8 guns. Unbelievable. How do I cancel this service?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to hear that the police won't take any action, but they look at it from the perspective that if it was a theft, and not a civil matter, and the parties knew about it, then the owner (or owner's agent) would have taken action to report it as soon as they became aware of it because the police will come to the owner's home and take a report.

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Unfortunately this is one of those situations where if immediate action isn't taken once the theft is discovered to report it, then months later it is "stale" and the police and DA are reluctant to take any formal action.

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But as you are likely already aware, if you have a POA for mother or are her legal guardian, you can file a civil suit against the person and sue them for damages for the value of the property or for "replevin", which is its return.

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As for how to cancel, you would need to contact JustAnswer's customer service and put in that request and they will assist. I am just an independent contractor on the site and don't have anything with how they bill customers..

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thanks

Barrister

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