North Carolina Unauthorized Use of a Conveyance

No one wants another person to take control of their vehicle without their explicit permission. That said, accusations of unauthorized use to conveyance can be misused in cases involving animosity between the accuser and accused. Similarly, police officers in North Carolina can misinterpret someone’s use of a vehicle that they do not own.

Should you find yourself contending with the charge of unauthorized use of a conveyance, know that you do not have to allow police officers and accusers to dominate the narrative. With the help of a North Carolina unauthorized use of a conveyance criminal defense attorney, you can protect yourself from the consequences of inappropriate charges.

Breaking Down Unauthorized Use of Conveyance Charges

North Carolina law states that you have to receive permission from the owner of a particular vehicle if you want to legally operate it. Anyone who absconds with a vehicle that they do not legally own or have not legally rented without the permission of the vehicle’s owner can be accused of unauthorized use of conveyance.

The rule of unauthorized use of conveyance applies to all vehicles, including cars, motorboats, aircrafts, and more.

Can There Be an Overlap Between Unauthorized Use of Conveyance and Grand Theft Auto?

If you’re accused of absconding with an aircraft, there’s a chance you may face unauthorized use of conveyance charges as well as the charge of unlicensed flight of an aircraft. What is the overlap between unauthorized use of conveyance and grand theft auto, though?

North Carolina does not specifically issue charges of grand theft auto against parties who illegally take possession of vehicles they do not own. Rather, the state does not prosecute motor vehicle theft separately from other forms of larceny or theft. Instead, parties accused of stealing motor vehicles will be charged under the state’s general larceny statutes. The consequences you face for the alleged theft of a vehicle will hinge on what the value of that vehicle may be. However, North Carolina General Statutes do state that the theft of any vehicle in the state will constitute a Class H felony at a minimum. 

This means that alleged car thieves may face up to 25 months imprisonment in addition to unauthorized use of conveyance charges. Specifically, larceny charges and unauthorized use charges can compound one another by addressing the same case.

Unchallenged Unauthorized Use of Conveyance Charges Have Complex Consequences

If you are accused of operating a car, boat, or ground-based motor vehicle, you’re likely to face Class I Misdemeanor charges when accused of unauthorized use of conveyance. This means that you may face up to 120 days in jail as well as fines based on your case’s unique circumstances, including damage to a vehicle and/or the value of said vehicle.

However, should you be accused of absconding with an aircraft, you may face Class H felony charges. You may face up to 25 months’ imprisonment as well as two points directed toward future convictions. You can discuss the impact of these points on other possible convictions with a criminal defense attorney.

How to Defend Against Accusations of Unauthorized Use of Conveyance

There are a few different arguments both you and a criminal defense attorney can make against accusations of unauthorized use of conveyance. These include:

Mistake of Facts

There is a chance that the party accusing you of unauthorized use of conveyance misunderstood or has misremembered under what circumstances you used a vehicle. If you can present evidence contradicting the facts presented by the prosecution, you can both argue your innocence and challenge the prosecution’s burden of duty.

The prosecution, after all, is required to prove to a judge and jury that your charge of unauthorized use of conveyance is beyond a reasonable doubt. Failure to do so can see the charges brought against you dropped.

Misinterpreted Consent

Miscommunications happen all the time. If you believed that another party gave you permission to operate another vehicle, you can argue against charges of unauthorized use of conveyance. Our team can specifically discuss that miscommunication and use evidence thereof to reduce or waive the charges brought against you.

Lack of Intent

The prosecution must prove that, upon your alleged use of a vehicle, you intended to operate it without the permission of its owner. If you did not intend to use it without an owner’s consent, you can present evidence thereof. This makes it easier to argue that the vehicle’s owner or a related party misinterpreted the circumstances that led them to bring you to court.

North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Address Your Unauthorized Use of Conveyance Charges

The charge of unauthorized use of conveyance in North Carolina falls under the broader category of larceny charges throughout the state. If you are accused of unauthorized use of conveyance, police officers and the state must attest that you inappropriately took possession of a vehicle that you were not permitted to operate.

If you find yourself contending with these charges and need help defending yourself in court, you can call on King Law for assistance. Our unauthorized use of conveyance criminal defense attorneys can meet with you for a case consultation. Call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING, or use our contact form to get in touch with us today.