Operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent in Wisconsin is a type of motor vehicle theft, and if you’re convicted, you could end up spending time in prison. In some cases, operating without the owner’s consent is considered carjacking, an even more serious crime.
Operating a Motor Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent in Wisconsin
Wisconsin law is very clear when it comes to car theft offenses. It says, “Whoever intentionally takes and drives, or operates any vehicle without the consent of the owner; and whoever knows that the owner does not consent to the driving or operation of a vehicle and intentionally accompanies, as a passenger in the vehicle, a person who takes, drives or operates any motor vehicle without the consent of theowner.”
The court can find you guilty if the prosecutor in your case can prove that you:
- Intentionally took a vehicle without the owner’s permission
- Drove or operated that vehicle without the owner’s consent
- Knew that the owner didn’t give you his or her permission to take and drive the vehicle
Carjacking is another matter – it occurs when you take a vehicle without the owner’s permission and you had a dangerous weapon (or you used or threatened to use force or a dangerous weapon).
Classes of Felonies Involved in Operating a Motor Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent in Wisconsin
Operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent can be classified in one of three ways:
- If you took and drove the vehicle without the owner’s consent, you’re looking at a Class H felony. You could go to prison for 3 years and spend up to 3 years on extended supervision, and the court could fine you up to $10,000.
- If you drove or operated a vehicle without the owner’s consent, it’s a Class I felony. You could go to prison for 18 months and spend 2 years on extended supervision. You may also have to pay fines up to $10,000.
- If you carjacked someone, you could be convicted of a Class C felony. You could face up to 25 years in prison with an additional 15 years of extended supervision, plus fines of up to $100,000.
Do You Need Legal Advice After Being Accused of Operating a Motor Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent in Wisconsin?
You’re entitled to legal counsel when you’re accused of a crime, and we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to get the help you need.