People have been taking others’ vehicles for one reason or another for hundreds of years. While these actions may not have been charged as a violation of the law previously, regulations have been put in place for those that steal another person’s property even if only for a short time.
What is Joyriding?
When any person, no matter how young, takes someone’s vehicle for a temporary amount of time without the intention of keeping it, he or she has committed the first part of joyriding. The other piece of this offense is usually the act of using the vehicle for a thrill at high speeds or because it is flashy. The difference in this crime is the intent behind the actions of taking the car. If the car is stolen with the intent to keep it, grand theft auto is usually the crime charged. In that instance, the person may have the intention of selling it or other actions. However, joyriding is often committed by the young to enjoy the ride, drive at high speeds for the thrill of the experience or the pleasure of possible danger. These desires may influence the permanent to temporarily steal another’s vehicle.
Theft Differences in Permanent or Temporary
Many states have various differences in the crime of joyriding. It is usually considered the unauthorized use of a vehicle through stealing or driving it with no consent from the owner. This includes the intention of only temporarily taking it with no commitment of depriving the owner of the automobile permanently. Either the taking or the driving of the car is only for a short duration. Some instances of this crime may include a youth taking his or her parent’s car when no permission has been given.
Permanent instances of theft may include taking the vehicle out of the state or country. When a professional car thief steals a vehicle, it may end up in a shop where it is torn apart or reconstructed where it is no longer recognizable. The intention behind these crimes is the permanent loss of the car by the owner from the person that stole it. There is no possibility of giving it back. It was not taken for the drive or any similar reason as a temporary instance.
Instances of Lesser Additional Crimes
Joyriding may be committed as a singular instance, or it may include other crimes with it. Usually, when a person takes the vehicle of another person, he or she may commit traffic violations of speeding at high speeds, swerving between lanes, possible driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and similar offenses. The dangers of high speeds may place other persons on the road in danger. When mixing alcohol or drugs with driving, these actions are dangerous enough, but including high speeds may cause injury or death to any involved. Poor judgment or lack of reflexes may lead to multiple parties becoming harmed through the diminished capacity of those under the influence. Swerving between lanes may also cause someone to veer off the road, slam into another vehicle or cause objects to collide with cars. Most of these actions have the potential for danger and harm to others.
When combining violations, it is unclear if joyriding is the lesser crime committed. Some states may charge this violation with fewer penalties when adding in other offenses committed. The intention to only temporarily deprive a person of the vehicle is often what a state determines for issuing this crime as a lesser offense. This means some states may only charge one crime instead of both when a lesser offense is committed. However, when the state has not considered joyriding to be a lesser offense, both crimes are often issued together with all combined punishments mounting against the accused person.