Motor Vehicle Offenses Defense Attorneys, Massachusetts

Massachusetts General law Chapter 90 section 24 (a) (2) makes it a crime for anyone to use a motor vehicle without the owner’s authority or knowing that the owner didn’t authorize the use. This crime is commonly referred to as joyriding and is not as serious a charge as larceny of a motor vehicle.

The passengers in a vehicle taken without the owner’s knowledge or permission, as well as the driver, can be charged with Use Without Authorization. However, in order to convict a passenger the prosecution will have to show that the passenger knew the operator was driving the car without the owner’s authorization. The fact that the driver hot wired the car or broke into the car without the use of a key is evidence that the passenger knew the operator didn’t have the owner’s authorization.

In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense the Prosecutor must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The Defendant used the vehicle;
  2. The defendant did so without the owner’s authority or the authority of person that had a legal right to control the vehicle; and
  3. At the time of the use the defendant knew he or she was not authorized to use the vehicle.

Joyriding vs. Stealing A Car

The difference between larceny of a motor vehicle and operating without authority is that larceny requires the offender to have the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his car while use without authority is more of a temporary borrowing of the vehicle without the owner’s authorization.

Criminal Penalties For Joyriding

  • 1st Offense: Minimum fine of $50 and not more than $500 or minimum imprisonment of 30 days but not more than 2 years.
  • 2nd Offense: Imprisonment in the house of corrections for a minimum of 30 days but not more than 2 ½ and or a maximum fine of $1000.
  • 3rd Offense: Committed within 5 years of first offense results in a minimum imprisonment for 6 months in the house of corrections but not more than 2 ½ years or imprisonment in a state prison for a minimum of 2 ½ years but no more than 5 years and or a minimum fine of $200 up to a maximum fine of $1,000.

Registry Penalties

  • 1st Offense: revocation of license for 1 year
  • Subsequent Offense: revocation of license for 3 years

Charged with Joyriding? Talk With An Experienced Motor Vehicle Offense Attorney For Free

Whether it was a simple misunderstanding or an error in judgment, our lawyers will work hard to build an aggressive defense against charges involving joy riding. If you were a passenger or driver being charged with joy riding, we want to help you clear up this matter so you can move forward with your life.

No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.

Our knowledgeable and experienced Massachusetts joyriding defense attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts, including, but not limited to Plymouth County including Brockton, Abington, Bridgewater, Whitman, Hanson, Hingham, Wareham, Halifax, Middleborough, Rockland, Lakeville, Holbrook, Avon, Kingston, Pembroke, Plympton, Pembroke, Hanover, Carver, Duxbury, Marshfield, Norwell, Hanover, Scituate, East/West Bridgewater, Rochester, Marion, Mattapoisett; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Randolph, Canton, Sharon; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Wrentham, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Norton.