Charleston, SC. Car Theft
Criminal Defense

Auto theft, also known as vehicle theft, car theft, or grand theft auto, is a crime that can oftentimes be charged as a felony depending on the value of the vehicle. There are serious direct penalties and consequences to being convicted on a car theft charge. Even worse for the accused, if there was a person inside the vehicle being stolen they could be charged with carjacking and receive up to 30 years in prison.

If you have been charged with auto theft or carjacking in Charleston, South Carolina, or surrounding areas, like Beaufort, Berkeley, Dorchester, Georgetown, or Orangeburg County, Attorney Ashley Cornwell can help you. Click here to find out more.

South Carolina law defines differing types of car theft as either misdemeanors or felonies. The severity of the charge has to do with the price of the asset stolen because theft is a larceny. Larceny is simply the theft of personal property. 

In South Carolina the breakdown follows the below. 

$2,000 or less

$2,000 to $10,000

$10,000 or more. 

Even if the stolen goods were worth less than $2,000, the consequences that could follow a conviction are not to be taken lightly. Not hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to help guide you through the process could prove to be detrimental for your freedom. 


Misdemeanor Car Theft:

If the person charged with car theft is accused of stealing a vehicle with a value under $2,000 then they could be charged with a misdemeanor offense. This is also known as petit larceny. A person who is convicted of this crime could face up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. 


Felony Car Theft:

If a person is charged with stealing a vehicle that is worth between $2,000 and $10,000 then they could face up to 5 years in prison.

If a person is charged with stealing a vehicle that is worth over $10,000 then they could face up to 10 years in prison. 


What is Carjacking? 

Carjacking is committing or attempting to commit vehicle theft by using physical force or causing bodily injury to the car owner during the encounter.  Carjacking is classified as a violent and most serious offense in South Carolina and carries a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years.


Charleston, SC. Criminal Defense Attorney

Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney, like Ashley Cornwell of the Cornwell Law Firm, may provide you or your family with the representation needed. Our firm focuses on providing top-notch legal representation and individualized service. 

Contact us for a consultation today.