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Motor Vehicle Theft

Washington State has several felony crimes involving stolen motor vehicles: Theft of Motor Vehicle and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, which are both Class B Felonies. Additionally, Washington has the Taking of Motor Vehicle crimes, which have both a First and Second Degree (Class B and Class C Felonies, respectively). At the misdemeanor level, we have the crime of Making or Possessing Motor Vehicle Theft Tools.
The "Theft of Motor Vehicle" statute, RCW 9A.56.065, states that a person is guilty if he or she commits theft of a motor vehicle.
The "Possession of a Stolen Vehicle" statute, RCW 9A.56.068, states a person is guilty if he or she possesses a stolen motor vehicle. Implicit in this crime is that the person possessing the vehicle actually knows that the vehicle has been stolen.
RCW 9A.56.070 - Taking motor vehicle without permission in the first degree states:
"A person is guilty of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the first degree if he or she, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to possession, intentionally takes or drives away an automobile or motor vehicle, whether propelled by steam, electricity, or internal combustion engine, that is the property of another, and he or she:
  • (a)  Alters the motor vehicle for the purpose of changing its appearance or primary identification, including obscuring, removing, or changing the manufacturer's serial number or the vehicle identification number plates;
  • (b)  Removes, or participates in the removal of, parts from the motor vehicle with the intent to sell the parts;
  • (c)  Exports, or attempts to export, the motor vehicle across state lines or out of the United States for profit;
  • (d)  Intends to sell the motor vehicle; or
  • (e)  Is engaged in a conspiracy and the central object of the conspiratorial agreement is the theft of motor vehicles for sale to others for profit or is engaged in a conspiracy and has solicited a juvenile to participate in the theft of a motor vehicle."
RCW 9A.56.075 Taking motor vehicle without permission in the second degree states:
  • "(1)  A person is guilty of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree if he or she, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to possession, intentionally takes or drives away any automobile or motor vehicle, whether propelled by steam, electricity, or internal combustion engine, that is the property of another, or he or she voluntarily rides in or upon the automobile or motor vehicle with knowledge of the fact that the automobile or motor vehicle was unlawfully taken.
  • (2)  Taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree is a class C felony."
If you, or someone you care about, has been charged (or may be) with a Motor Vehicle Theft crime in King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County, or Whatcom County, call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC today at (360) 659-4950 for a free, no-pressure case evaluation. With a reputation in the legal community as aggressive, effective and successful criminal defense attorneys, we are here to help you through your difficult times.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged with criminal offenses in Northwest Washington Courts, including King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County and Whatcom County, as well as other counties on a case-by-case basis. These counties include courts in and for the following cities: Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bellevue, Blaine, Bothell, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynden, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Redmond, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Sedro Woolley, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, Washington.