While the nation is trying to figure out how to survive, we are still here to help with all of your legal needs. We have already implemented procedures to protect our staff as well as our clients. We are available by phone to help you as you struggle through what to do next with your legal concerns. We remain dedicated to providing you top notch service, our legal expertise, and the social distancing that is necessary at this time. Please check us out on Facebook for daily updates as to court closures throughout Southern California. Be well!

Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Charged with Auto Theft? Get an Award-Winning Defense Team On Your Side.

Theft Defense Attorney in Orange County, CA

Have you been arrested for the unlawful taking of a vehicle?

It can be tricky to deal with criminal cases involving the theft of a vehicle, because it can be difficult to prove where it was a permanent theft or whether the intention was to simply "borrow" the vehicle for a short period of time. There are two different areas of the law that will handle this type of theft. You will therefore need to be confident that you have an experienced criminal lawyer that you can trust to help you address your unique situation and provide a fitting defense tailored to your circumstances.

  • On one hand, grand theft auto is legally defined under California Penal Code §487(d)(1) - this states that it is considered to be "grand theft" should the theft involve an automobile of any kind, regardless of the estimated market value of the motor vehicle.
  • On the other hand, it is also legally defined in §10851 of the 2010 California Vehicle Code - which states that it is considered to be a criminal offense to take a vehicle that does not belong to the defendant. This is more commonly referred to as "joyriding."

Orange County Theft Lawyer: Defending Against Grand Theft Auto

It can be difficult to determine which under which law the defendant will be prosecuted, however, it is important to realize that most of these crimes will rest on the crux of intentions. Should it be proven that the intention of the defendant was to temporarily deprive the owner of the vehicle, it will most likely be tried as joyriding under §10851 VC and will be considered to be a misdemeanor. If the prosecutor argues that it was meant to be a permanent theft, it will be tried as grand theft auto under §487(d)(1) of the California Penal Code which is typically a felony charge.

This is also a foundation for a criminal offense. If the car was broken into prior to the theft, it can be elevated to auto burglary. If there was violence in the criminal act, it could be considered carjacking. Regardless, it is highly important that you get a knowledgeable Orange County criminal defense attorney that you can rely upon. At the Law Offices of Virginia Landry, we recognize what is on the line with criminal cases of this nature and we are fully prepared to help our clients defend their legal rights to the very best of our abilities. Give us a call today to discuss your case more in-depth. A skilled Orange County theft attorney could fight relentlessly to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry can help if you've been arrested for the theft of a vehicle and are facing criminal charges relating to joyriding, grand theft auto or even carjacking. Contact us today!

Request Your Free Case Review Today

When You're Ready to Talk, We're Here to Listen.
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.

What Sets the Law Offices of
Virginia L. Landry Apart?

  • Rated a "Top DUI Attorney" and Board Certified in DUI Defense

  • Achieved a Perfect 10 Out of 10 Superb Rating On Avvo

  • Past President of the West Orange County Bar Association

  • Hundreds of Trials and Thousands of Motions Achieved for Clients

What Our Clients Are Saying

Protecting Our Clients Is Our Number One Priority
  • “I am grateful that we chose Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry. You exceeded my expectations.”


  • “I recommend everyone who needs an attorney to come here. Amazing people and they care.”


  • “Your staff always kept me in the loop, they were sincere, and they gave me a sense of peace knowing I was in good hands.”


  • “ I received the best court decision due to their devotion to my case, their knowledge of the law and their persistence and thoroughness.”


  • “Fantastic outcome! I truly appreciate all the hard work and correspondence you and your staff has provided!”


  • “I hired Betty from the Law Offices of Virginia Landry and the judge finally went ahead and dismissed it.”


  • “Thank you! You saved my life.”


  • “A special thanks for the handling of the court appearance and taking care of the matter in one day!”

    Previous Client

  • “I was finally treated fairly by the DMV because I had a competent and prepared attorney, and the DMV knew it.”

    Previous Client

  • “All staff were very polite, kind and always responded on my call immediately. My case was dismissed. Thank you for a great service!”


  • “She listened carefully and respectfully. Her knowledge was very impressive and hit on all that points that I was concerned with.”