Is Unauthorized Use The Same As Theft?
In some states, similar provisions are, or at a time were, referred to as “joy riding” statutes. Criminal defense lawyers in Baltimore, MD know that in this jurisdiction, the crime is referred to as unauthorized use. The thought is that, perhaps, some young people might want to take someone else’s car out for the night, but not necessarily steal it. Criminal defense lawyers in Baltimore, MD would argue this shows a legislative intent to punish those that engage in this activity less severely than an actual thief. The crime is sometimes referred to in the cases as larceny of possession or larceny of use. The key difference between this crime a theft is one of intent. Theft requires a demonstration or inference of an intent to permanently take the property from the owner, whereas unauthorized use deals with a fleeting, and temporary interference with ownership rights.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 1/30/20.