Property Offences – Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle

Our experienced criminal law solicitors have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to unlawful use of a motor vehicle.  If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of UUMV, you need specific advice and should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on 55800120 for advice.

For more information on other similar charges, visit our PROPERTY OFFENCES.

Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle – The Law

Section 408A(1) of the Queensland Criminal Code 2005 creates the offence of unlawful use of a motor vehicle. It provides:

(1) A person who—

(a) unlawfully uses any motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel without the consent of the person in lawful possession thereof; or

(b) has in the person’s possession any motor vehicle, aircraft or vessell without the consent of the person in lawful possession thereof with intent to deprive the owner or person in lawful possession thereof of the use and possession thereof either temporarily or permanently;

is guilty of an offence.

Elements of the Offence

To be found guilty of the offence of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

Section 408A(1)(a)

  1. The accused used the vehicle;
  2. The person in lawful possession did not consent its use;
  3. The accused used the vehicle knowing the person in lawful possession would not consent its use;
  4. The use was not lawful.

Section 408A(1)(b)

  1. The accused had the vehicle in their possession;
  2. The person in lawful possession did not consent to the accused’s possession;
  3. The accused knew the person in lawful possession did not consent;
  4. The accused had intent to deprive the person in lawful possession either temporarily or permanently.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for the allegation of unlawful use of a motor vehicle is 7 years imprisonment.

However, if the accused is proven to have used the vehicle in connection with an indictable offence, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of unlawful use of a motor vehicle is an indictable matter.

The charge will generally be dealt with in the District Court; however the accused may elect for it to remain in the Magistrates Court.

Conviction – Does a conviction have to be recorded?

The sentencing Court has a discretion whether or not to record a conviction against you for the offence of fraud.  Generally a conviction would not be recorded for a minor first offence for this type of offence, although one is likely for subsequent convictions, or where a circumstance of aggravation is made out.

The relevant factors are set out in section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, and include, the nature of the offence, the offenders character and age, together with the impact the recording a conviction would have on the offenders chances of finding employment. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded on you or a loved you should seek legal advice.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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