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Unauthorized Removal of Property, what does it mean in Maryland?

Navigating the legal landscape of criminal defense, particularly around Title 7 - Theft and Related Crimes, can be a daunting experience. The Maryland criminal statute, specifically Section 7-203 concerning Unauthorized Removal of Property, prescribes stringent repercussions for individuals found guilty.

This is where our seasoned criminal defense attorneys at FrizWoods LLC step in, guiding you through the intricacies of the law and ensuring your rights are vehemently defended.

Understanding Unauthorized Removal of Property Under Maryland Law

The essence of Maryland�s Unauthorized Removal of Property Law (Section 7-203) lies in its prohibition against the removal, use, or carrying away of another's property without permission.

The law broadly categorizes the property into:

  1. vehicles
  2. motor vehicles
  3. vessels
  4. livestock.

A conviction carries penalties of a fine, imprisonment of up to four years, or both.

The Crucial Elements of the Law

For a successful conviction for this crime, the State must prove two critical elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant knowingly and willfully took and carried away property of another without permission.
  2. The defendant had knowledge that the removal was unauthorized.

The term "knowledge" in this context is vital. The court infers knowledge from the circumstances surrounding the case, such as the defendant's behavior and the situation in which the property was taken.

How is this different than theft of a motor vehicle?

Most people receive unauthorized use charges related to the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Many times this is charged alongside motor vehicle theft, which can cover some of the same behavior. This offense is different than motor vehicle theft because there is no requirement to prove that the Defendant had any intent to actually keep the property.

In the context of a car, joyriding could be seen as unauthorized use, even when it cannot be proven that the driver was in any way involved in the taking of the motor vehicle.

The Relevance of Mens Rea

The doctrine of mens rea or guilty mind is central to proving a case of Unauthorized Removal of Property. The State must demonstrate that the defendant had a clear understanding that their actions were unauthorized. This aspect of criminal law emphasizes the importance of intent in determining guilt.

In the context of a motor vehicle, we would normally see some proof that the Defendant knew the vehicle was not legitimately owned. For example, if the ignition was modified, or if they purchased it for a small amount of money far below the actual market value.

How FrizWoods LLC Can Assist

At FrizWoods LLC, we pride ourselves on our thorough understanding of Maryland criminal laws. Our expert criminal defense attorneys meticulously examine every facet of your case, devising a robust defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.

Our Track Record

Our firm's reputation is built on a foundation of trust, expertise, and a relentless pursuit of justice for our clients. We invite you to peruse our reviews to gain insight into our client-centered approach and the positive outcomes we've achieved.

Frequently Asked Questions

What actions constitute Unauthorized Removal of Property?

Unauthorized Removal of Property encompasses the act of taking, using, or carrying away someone else's property without permission. This includes but is not limited to vehicles, vessels, and livestock.

What should I do if I am charged with unauthorized removal of property?

It's imperative to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can help you understand the charges, the possible defenses, and the potential consequences.

Can the charges be dropped or reduced?

Yes, depending on the circumstances of your case and the strength of the evidence against you, it may be possible to have the charges dropped or reduced.

How will a conviction affect my record?

A conviction for unauthorized removal of property can have serious implications for your criminal record, which, in turn, can affect your employment prospects among other areas of your life.

How can FrizWoods LLC help in such cases?

Our seasoned attorneys at FrizWoods LLC meticulously analyze the nuances of your case, ensuring a tailored defense strategy aimed at achieving the best possible outcome.

Ready to Seek Legal Advice?

Being accused of Unauthorized Removal of Property can have significant repercussions. However, with the right legal guidance, it's possible to navigate these challenging waters. At FrizWoods LLC, we are committed to providing exemplary legal services, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you're facing such charges, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.