Joyriding vs. Car / Auto Theft

New Jersey Defense Attorney to Defend You Against Charges of Joyriding

Is joyriding the same thing as stealing a car?

Car theft and joyriding are seen as two different crimes – but both are illegal and are punishable offenses.

The biggest legal difference between the crime of joyriding and theft is largely determined by intent. Joyriding involves taking a vehicle with no particular goal other than for recreational purposes. Joyriding is taking a vehicle for temporary use, and theft is taking a vehicle without the intent of returning it.

Examples of joyriding include taking someone’s car, truck, or motorcycle without permission, with the intention of just using it for a while. Joyriding charges can also be brought for taking a boat or even a bicycle without the owner’s permission.

It does not matter how long you take a vehicle, or if you return it, joyriding is still against the law.

Can a passenger be charged with joyriding?

Yes. You can be charged with joyriding just for being a passenger even if you did not actually take or drive the vehicle. Passengers can also be held just as responsible for any damages to the vehicle, or other property while joyriding.

What are the penalties for joyriding?

In New Jersey, joyriding is a fourth-degree crime with maximum penalties of 18 months in prison and a $7,500 fine. If other violations, such is reckless driving, property damage, or injury to, or endangering other people occur while joyriding, the charges can be upgraded to the third degree. In this case, joyriding may be punishable by three to five years’ imprisonment and a maximum $7,500 fine.

If certain other crimes are committed while joyriding, the law imposes mandatory penalties for juveniles, including:

A minimum of 60 days incarceration for any juvenile also convicted of aggravated assault as a result of joyriding or eluding police;
A minimum of 30 days for repeat offenders guilty of joyriding;
60 days of mandatory community service for first offense of stealing a motor vehicle, joyriding or eluding police; and
30 days of community service for joyriding.

Additionally, the law allows prosecutors to hold parents who fail to supervise a child who steals a car may be accountable and ordered to pay restitution to the victim.

Attorney William D. Ware – A New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer for Joyriding Charges

Free Consultation • Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist • Former Prosecutor

The penalties for joyriding can be stiff. You need an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer.

Contact our office in Chester, New Jersey, to discuss your matter in a free consultation with William D. Ware, Esq., a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, right away.

William D. Ware, Esq. is a former prosecutor with the experience and skills to aggressively defend you in court. From representing you during the initial investigation, through the final resolution, he aggressively pursues the best possible outcome.

All of our clients can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our office or cell phones. You will be in direct contact with your attorney who will remain available to answer any questions that you may have and provide any necessary counsel until your case is firmly resolved. Mr. Ware has spent his entire career in the courtroom and will give you the peace of mind and confidence that you need while he successfully defends your case.