There are a number of different criminal offenses related to the stealing or unlawful use of an automobile in Michigan. If charged with one of these offenses, you should seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile (UDAA) is a felony in Michigan that carries a maximum sentence of 5 years of incarceration. To prove this crime, the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant did either buy, possess, conceal, or aid in the concealment of a stolen motor vehicle, knowing or having reason to know or reason to believe that the motor vehicle was stolen, embezzled, or converted. The prosecution must prove that this was done without authority or without the owner’s permission. Also, it does not matter if the Defendant intended to keep the vehicle.
Unlawful Use of an Automobile (Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle) is a lesser offense of Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile. The difference between these two offenses is that Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile involves the unlawful taking of the Motor Vehicle in the first place. Unlawful Use of an Automobile applies if the Defendant got possession of the vehicle lawfully in the first place but then used it in a way that he or she knew was unauthorized.