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Michigan Auto Theft Laws

While theft laws can vary from state to state, they're generally defined as taking someone else's property without permission. Most states also require that the offender intends to permanently deprive the victim of the property. Some states include auto theft within their general theft statutes, while other states have a separate statute that specifically addresses the theft of a car. In Michigan, the theft of a car is a separate statute from its other statutes addressing theft. Of note, Michigan's auto theft laws prohibit the theft of motor vehicles, which includes any vehicles driven by mechanical power, but that does not include traction engines, road rollers and such vehicles that only run on rails or tracks.

In addition to Michigan's auto theft laws, there's also a statute that specifically addresses the consequences for using someone else's motor vehicle without permission, but also without the intent to steal the motor vehicle. If this occurs, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years. If it's a first offense, the punishment may be reduced to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than 3 months.

Michigan Auto Theft Laws Overview

Below you'll find key provisions of auto theft laws in Michigan.


Michigan Compiled Laws Section 750.413 (Taking possession and driving away a motor vehicle)

What's Prohibited?

It's prohibited to wilfully and without authority take possession of and drive/take away any motor vehicle that belongs to someone else. It's also prohibited to assist anyone doing so.

Charges and Penalties Violation of this statue is a felony that's punishable by a prison term not exceeding 5 years.

Related Statute(s)

Michigan Compiled Laws

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Michigan Auto Theft Laws: Related Resources

For more information about laws related to this topic, please click on the links below:

Charged under Michigan's Auto Theft Laws? Contact an Attorney

Michigan classifies auto theft as a serious crime, and a conviction can land you in jail. However, if you didn't intend to steal any vehicles, you may actually be guilty of a lesser crime. This is where an experienced attorney can be very helpful on your behalf. If you're charged under Michigan's auto theft laws, it's a good idea to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Michigan to discuss your case and learn about your rights and options.

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