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750.413 Motor vehicle; taking possession and driving away.

Auto theft is a very serious felony offense. In Michigan, taking possession of another individual's vehicle and driving away with it will leave the accused facing serious criminal penalties if convicted. Unlawfully driving away an automobile will not only result in prison time and fines, but negatively affect other areas of an individual's life.

750.414 Motor vehicle; use without authority but without intent to steal.

Taking a motor vehicle without the owner's permission even if it is not your intent to steal the vehicle is a high court misdemeanor offense often referred to as joyriding. Under Michigan law, any individual who is even a party to driving or taking a motor vehicle without the permission of the owner may be prosecuted.

Unlike the unlawful driving away of an automobile, intent to steal is not an element that must be proven by prosecutors in order to prove guilt in a joyriding case.


Auto theft, or taking possession and driving away a vehicle with the intention to deprive the owner of his or her property, is a felony offense that will leave the accused facing up to five years in prison

Individuals who are found guilty of taking another individual's vehicle without consent but without the intent to steal the vehicle will face penalties that include up to two years in prison, and fines of up to $1,500.

Other Consequences:

Individuals who are convicted of a crime, including auto theft or driving away a motor vehicle without the owner's consent will have a criminal record which will negatively affect his or her life in regards to employment opportunities, financing, housing, and more.

Related Crimes:

  • Larceny; property; penalties; total value of property stolen; enhanced sentence; prior convictions; "scrap metal" defined.

  • Larceny; motor vehicles or trailers; aggregate value; prior convictions; breaking or entering; damaging.

  • Carjacking; felony; penalty; “in the course of committing a larceny of a motor vehicle” defined; consecutive sentence.

  • Larceny; rented motor vehicle, trailer or other tangible property; penalty.

Experience and Success:

Grabel & Associates has extensive experience defending clients charged with motor vehicle theft offenses, including joyriding and auto theft. We have a long history of successfully defending clients against these and other criminal offenses, and have frequently obtained acquittals, dismissal of charges, and had convictions overturned on appeal.


There are a number of defense strategies that have proven to be effective in defending individuals accused of auto theft and joyriding crimes depending on the unique circumstances in each case. Defendants who are convicted of unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle without the owner's consent or auto theft may wish to appeal their conviction or sentencing, or seek other forms of post-conviction relief.

Act 328 of 1931

750.413 Motor vehicle; taking possession and driving away.

Sec. 413.

Taking possession of and driving away a motor vehicle—Any person who shall, willfully and without authority, take possession of and drive or take away, and any person who shall assist in or be a party to such taking possession, driving or taking away of any motor vehicle, belonging to another, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years.

History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;-- CL 1948, 750.413

Former Law: See section 1 of Act 44 of 1907, being CL 1915, § 15430; CL 1929, § 16969; Act 220 of 1917; Act 313 of 1919; and Act 50 of 1927.

Act 328 of 1931

750.414 Motor vehicle; use without authority but without intent to steal.

Sec. 414.

Any person who takes or uses without authority any motor vehicle without intent to steal the same, or who is a party to such unauthorized taking or using, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $1,500.00. However, in case of a first offense, the court may reduce the punishment to imprisonment for not more than 3 months or a fine of not more than $500.00. However, this section does not apply to any person or persons employed by the owner of said motor vehicle or anyone else, who, by the nature of his or her employment, has the charge of or the authority to drive said motor vehicle if said motor vehicle is driven or used without the owner's knowledge or consent.

History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;-- CL 1948, 750.414 ;-- Am. 2002, Act 672, Eff. Mar. 31, 2003

Former Law: See section 1 of Act 33 of 1909, being CL 1915, § 15431; and CL 1929, § 16970.

Client Reviews

If you are reading these reviews you are about to make a decision that will have a large impact on the rest of your life. I choose Grabel and Associates to represent me in my case and I could not have been more satisfied with the level of professionalism and dedication to their clients. I had the opportunity to meet and work with multiple lawyers in the practice all of which showcased a vast knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the legal system. When you choose Scott Grabel to represent you will open yourself up to all of his resources. Depending on your case Grabel knows experts in all fields. I worked with polygraph examiners, investigators, and forensics experts. Grabel and Associates will defend without prejudice of innocence or guilt. Scott Grabel was able to lead me through every step of the process with great communication the whole way. I would recommend Scott Grabel and Associates to my friends, family and anyone who is in need of representation. B. A.
Best attorney in state of Michigan. Caring and a true friend. Scott was with us every step of the way. He fought for a great injustice for our son and was able to provide an outcome that gave his life back. L. A.
Scott and his firm did an awesome job representing a family member of mine, I would highly recommend him and his firm! They were extremely reliable, trustworthy and very informative and did a great job with the case. I couldn't be happier with the results that we received, I can't speak highly enough about the great job he did. If you are thinking about using his firm, I would highly recommend, I would definitely use his firm again if needed, he is an a great attorney with a great firm, you won't be disappointed! M. F.