Articles Tagged with possession of a stolen vehicle

A Chicago woman is facing 11 counts of misdemeanors and felonies after she crashed a stolen Jeep during a police chase that crossed state lines. She was initially noticed when her Jeep was spotted doing 83 in a 70mph zone. Police pulled the vehicle over, initially without incident, but the arresting officer recognized that the vehicle was never placed in park and that the driver had her foot on the brakes. The trooper smartly did not approach the vehicle and instead issued verbal commands to place the vehicle into park and lower her window. Instead of doing that, the woman took off in her stolen Jeep.

Another trooper down the road was alerted to the woman approaching in the Jeep. The trooper was retrieving stop sticks from the road when the Jeep approached. The woman swerved to avoid the parked police cruiser but ended up crashing into a Kia Optima anyway. The driver continued after the crash, but the Jeep was damaged. Eventually, the woman was forced to stop the Jeep. That is when she was arrested.

Tallying Up the Charges

zjrupeakpzi-aidan-meyerOne of the most common crimes in Chicago is that of possession of a stolen vehicle. For a defense attorney such cases present certain peculiarities and challenges, but they also present opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the law. Understandably, the defendant may try to claim a lack of knowledge about the origin of the car, but the investigating officers are normally well versed in the critical aspects of discovery. They will most certainly ensure that the mens rea is proved. The Actus Reus is normally a foregone conclusion since in most cases the suspect is caught red handed, usually in the commission of a traffic offense.

Implications for the Defendant

The indicative term of imprisonment is anywhere between three and seven years; quite a stiff sentence when one considers the fact that defendants who are involved in major violence and significant economic crimes might get a shorter term (see People vs Wright). The value of the car in question can be a mitigating or aggravating feature. For example, a car that is worth more than $10,000 will normally attract a Class 2 felony charge. Other aggravating features include the use of deception and threats. There are instances in which the offense is merely a conduit for more serious charges such as grand auto theft or even robbery. Therefore, it is imperative for the defending attorney to have as much information about the case as possible before it moves to arraignment and trial.

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