Auto Burglary

Arrest for Auto BurglaryAuto Burglary is legally known as grand larceny of a motor vehicle.  It is the intentionally stealing, taking and carrying away, driving away or otherwise removing a motor vehicle owned by another person. Typical auto theft scenarios include:

  • Breaking and entering an unattended vehicle and driving it away by hot-wiring
  • When someone steals a car that was temporarily entrusted to them as part of their employment (i.e. a valet or chauffeur)
  • When someone who has access to the keys steals the car (such as the owner’s child or friend)
  • Agreeing to buy a car but then taking it without paying.  This is called “fraudulent theft.”
  • Failing to return a car rental

If you have been arrested for Auto-theft in Nevada you were arrested for taking a car that belonged to someone else without the owner’s permission.

The crime of carjacking is a more serious offense than  auto-burglary because it involves the suspect attempting to take a car by force, violence or threat. In cases of alleged carjacking, the suspect faces charges for not only the property crime of auto-theft but also the crime of robbery, battery, and/or assault.


The standard punishments for a conviction of grand larceny of a motor vehicle in Nevada depend on the value of the vehicle at issue.  If it is worth $3,500 or more, Reno auto-burglary is a category B felony in Nevada carrying:

And if the car’s value is less than $3,500, then Nevada auto-theft is a category C felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • maybe a fine of not more than $10,000, and
  • restitution

Depending on the case, the prosecutor may agree to a plea bargain for reduced fines or an extended payment plan.


If you have been arrested for or charged with auto burglary, seek the counsel of a Reno criminal defense attorney with experience fighting Nevada auto burglary cases. We have successfully defended hundreds of auto burglary cases.

There are numerous defenses to auto burglary including the auto belonged to the suspect, no theft occurred, or the suspect had permission to borrow the vehicle. Lee knows all the defenses and can help you get the charges dismissed and can help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

If you have been arrested for Auto Burglary or grand larceny of a motor vehicle, you deserve an experienced criminal defense attorney who will personally handle your case. Call Reno Nevada Law attorney Lee Hotchkin (775) 786-5791 – it’s what we do!