Taking or Use Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent

Taking or Use Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent

Taking or Use Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent is found in section 38 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 in Victoria. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who took or used a non-motor vehicle belonging to another person without the consent.

Have you been accused of Taking or Use Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent?

Man Mounting a Bicycle
Police Interview
If you are contacted by police requesting an interview in relation to taking or using a vehicle without the owner’s consent, it is important that you receive legal advice before speaking with Police. One of our experienced lawyers can guide you through the types of questions you can expect the police to ask you during the interview process.

If the Police want to speak with you about an allegation of taking or using a vehicle without the owner’s consent, speak with one of our experienced lawyers first. If you speak with police without having received legal advice, you may place yourself at a disadvantage.

Our lawyers can also attend the Police station with you if you feel more comfortable having someone on your side.

Pleading Not Guilty
If you have been charged with Taking or Use Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent and you deny the allegation, the next step is to prepare to defend your case in Court. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we will review the evidence compiled by police to advise you on your best strategy for defending this charge. This may include seeking disclosure from police and searching for material that sheds a different light on your case, which the police may have over-looked. We are committed to hearing your story and protecting your interests.

Pleading Guilty
If you decide to plead guilty, one of our experienced criminal lawyers will work to resolve the case on the most favourable basis possible.

Depending on the circumstances of the offending, it may be appropriate to engage in negotiations with the prosecution about the summary of offending or details of the charge. We can recommend beneficial courses and counselling if appropriate. We can also gather character references and information as to your personal history to put forward in Court.

The offence of taking or using a vehicle without consent of owner etc. is the sort of charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
Examples of Taking or Using Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent
  • A person sees a bicycle resting against a house and uses it to do their shopping and then returns it to the place they found it.
  • A person unties a dinghy and using their own small outboard motor goes fishing for a few hours.
  • A person asks an older person if their can borrow their ride on transporter. The older person was resting on it for their friend and did not understand what they were being asked.
What is the legal definition of Taking or Using Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent?
Any person who takes or in any manner uses a vehicle (including a bicycle but not including a motor vehicle within the meaning of the Road Safety Act 1986 ) or a boat ship or other vessel the property of any other person without the consent of the owner or person in lawful possession thereof shall be guilty of an offence.

Penalty: 15 penalty units or imprisonment for three months.

“Have you been accused of taking someone’s bike or boat?”

Legislation
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 38 of Summary Offences Act 1966.

Elements of the offence
In essence to prove this charge the Police must show that the accused took or used in any manner a vehicle, boat or other vessel. At the time, the vehicle was the property of another person and the accused did not have the consent of the owner of the property or person in lawful possession.
 
Possible defences to this charge could be consent, duress, a factual dispute, honest and reasonable mistake of belief, wrongful identification, lack of intent or necessity.

You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not while have major implications for you and should be made after proper discussion with a criminal lawyer.

Questions in cases like this
  • Did you have consent?
  • Did you use the vehicle?
  • Was the vehicle property of another?

The offence of Taking or Use Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent (s38 of the Summary Offences Act 1966) carries a maximum penalty of 15 penalty units (fine) or imprisonment for three months.