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What’s aggravated motor vehicle theft?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Blog, Property Crimes |

In Colorado, motor vehicle theft is a property crime that occurs when someone takes a car without the owner’s permission. This can be a very serious offense. In some cases, motor vehicle theft can be classified as aggravated motor vehicle theft. This is a more serious charge and can come with harsher penalties.

Understanding aggravated circumstances

Aggravated motor vehicle theft occurs when the circumstances of the car theft escalate beyond what would be considered a typical car theft. This includes situations where the aggressor used a deadly weapon or if someone other than the accused was put in danger during the crime. It can also include instances of multiple cars getting taken at once or if the car was stolen for the purpose of joyriding.

Penalties in Colorado

In Colorado, if convicted for this property crime, the perpetrator can face anywhere from six months to 12 years in prison and have to pay between $3,000 and $750,000 in fines. Additionally, they may also need to pay restitution to the victim. If the theft was from a rental car company or other business, this may also be considered.


In some cases, there may be mitigating circumstances that can lead to the charge being dropped or reduced. For example, if the accused can prove that their actions were not malicious or intentional and that no one was in danger, they may be able to avoid a felony conviction. Additionally, if there is evidence that the accused was not aware of the circumstances surrounding the theft, this can also be used in their defense.

Aggravated motor vehicle theft is a serious charge and should not get taken lightly. If you are facing charges for this, it’s a good idea to consider all of your legal options and the specifics of your case before making any decisions.

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