Grand theft auto is a felony that includes stealing any vehicle. Although, there are some minor differences depending on a state, there are some general principles that are applied in every state. There are two kinds of theft crimes. Minor, that are categorized as petty theft. They are usually punished by one year in jail. The severe, grand thefts are categorized as felonies, and they are punishable by more than one year of imprisonment. Grand theft is used for crimes when a stolen vehicle has a price from $500 up to $1000. But, in many states, any kind of car theft is treated as the grand theft.

In any case, a prosecutor must prove that defendant took or drove a vehicle that belong to some other person, in order to permanently deprive the owner from the vehicle. Each car can be taken; when it is left unlocked with a keys inside; when it is left unlocked without keys inside (hotwired); or it can be broken into and started without keys (hotwired). In most of the countries, grand theft law applies on stealing: boats, motorcycles and other vehicles. In some states, grand theft is only applied if a vehicle is stolen on a public road. In those countries, theft of a boat cannot be treated as grand theft.

There are two defenses of the defendant. That he didn’t want to permanently deprive the owner of that vehicle, and that the owner agreed that defendant can take a vehicle. The punishment depends on a state. In all states, the severity of a crime depends on, defendant’s prior convictions and the circumstances of a crime. The defendant can be punished by: restitution, imprisonment, a fine or probation.