Colorado Theft Of Automobile License Plates – Section 42-5-104(4) C.R.S. While it may seem a minor criminal offense, the Theft of Colorado License Plates is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in county jail and/or a $5,000.00 fine. (click on chart to enlarge).
In 2015, the Denver Police reported that the theft of license plates has been rising.. rapidly.
Denver police say license plate theft is rising. Stolen license plates are used in many ways – almost always to commit new crimes.
Because the crime is easy to commit, individuals who practice this kind of crime are difficult to apprehend. If caught however, prosecutors will press hard for serious consequence if their case is provable.
Why Are Colorado Automobile License Plates Stolen?
Most automotive license plates that are stolen in Colorado are taken because:
• A professional auto thief needs the out-of-state plate to get the stolen car the just stole across state lines.
• The automobile plates theft intends to commit serious felony crimes such as robberies or burglaries … or even traffic violations….
• Young kids take them as a gag or are on a dare… for no particular reason.
• They are so called “Gas and Go” thieves and take the plates to gas up and flee without paying.
The Colorado Crime That Punishes The Theft Of Automobile Parts – Including Theft Of License Plates
The law that punishes this crime is found under the Colorado Traffic Code but is not considered a minor traffic offense. It is reprinted below:
§ 42-5-104. Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts – Theft of License Plates.
(1) Any person who with criminal intent removes, detaches, or takes from a motor vehicle which is the property of another any part, equipment, attachment, accessory, or appurtenance contained therein, contained thereon, or forming a part thereof or any person who aids, abets, or assists in the commission of any such act or acts is guilty of theft of motor vehicle parts.
(2) Theft of motor vehicle parts is:
(a) A class 1 misdemeanor if the value of the thing involved is less than one thousand dollars;
(b) A class 5 felony if the value of the thing involved is one thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars;
(c) A class 3 felony if the value of the thing involved is twenty thousand dollars or more.
(3) When a person commits theft of motor vehicle parts two times or more within a period of six months without having been placed in jeopardy for the prior offense or offenses and the aggregate value of the things involved is one thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars, it is a class 5 felony; however, if the aggregate value of the things involved is twenty thousand dollars or more, it is a class 4 felony.
(4) Any person who steals a license plate shall be in violation of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this section.
Colorado Theft Of Automobile License Plates – Section 42-5-104(4) C.R.S.
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You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – and we encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 30 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice. H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – Colorado Theft Of Automobile License Plates – Section 42-5-104(4) C.R.S..