By definition, a person in Maryland may not take or carry away a vehicle, motor vehicle, vessel or livestock of any person without the owner’s permission.
As a practical matter, a person charged with unauthorized removal of property is usually alleged to have stolen a car (or a boat, or cattle!) or taken someone else’s car without their permission. It is not a defense for this crime that the person who took the vehicle intended to return it or in fact did return it. The criminal act comes from the taking away of the property and the preventing of the owner from using it.
Penalty for Unauthorized Removal of Property
In Maryland, this crime is a misdemeanor and upon conviction carries a maximum of four (4) years incarceration and a minimum of six (6) months in jail and/or a fine between $50-$100. The defendant may also have to pay restitution the owner for the value of the property. Also, the mandatory minimum jail time does not guarantee that a person will serve six months upon conviction–a judge in Maryland has the discretion to suspend that portion of jail and instead put that person on probation.
If you or a loved one has been charged with unauthorized removal of property, or any related theft or property crime in Maryland, don’t panic. Instead, contact the Law Offices of Christopher Peretti for a free consultation about your case at 301-875-3472.