ABC News reports that motor vehicle crimes are on the rise in Texas and that this increase has prompted the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority (MVCPA) to grant more than $13 million to law enforcement agencies in response. This impressive sum highlights the serious nature of this increase in motor vehicle crimes in an area of Texas that includes Central Texas. If you are facing a charge that relates to motor vehicle crimes, an experienced Temple criminal defense lawyer can help.
The National Institute Crime Bureau reports that, from 2019 to 2020, there was a 326 percent increase in the number of catalytic converters that were stolen in that central portion of Texas. The grant from the MVCPA will provide the financial support needed to set up much-needed motor vehicle crime enforcement teams. These newly formed teams will include seasoned investigators who will engage in all of the following practices in their efforts to stem the current increase in motor vehicle crimes:
Noting important criminal trends
Employing necessary and highly specialized equipment
Coordinating crime prevention efforts across those areas of Texas that are most affected by increased motor vehicle crimes
Setting up multi-jurisdictional task forces that combine resources across agencies in their efforts to thwart auto crimes
The MVCPA’s Vision
The vision that guides MVCPA’s concerted efforts is empowering Texas communities to help release their members from the damage and loss that is caused by motor vehicle crimes. This vision does not stop at the financial loss individuals face when their vehicles are stolen but also addresses crimes that often require stolen vehicles to get the job done, such as human trafficking and drug smuggling.
In fiscal year 2020, task forces funded by MVCPA grants made inroads into fighting motor vehicle thefts, including:
Recovering more than 12,800 stolen vehicles
Clearing more than 19,000 motor vehicle theft cases off the books
Arresting more than 4,000 people for offenses related to motor vehicle theft
The resources provided by the grants will allow law enforcement to target those who engage in motor vehicle crimes more directly.
Penalties and Fines
The state of Texas is tough on crime, and motor vehicle crimes are no exception. Punishment for convictions can range from 180 days to up to 10 years in state jail with fines of up to $10,000. For example, the crime of joyriding is a state jail felony, which means that, if convicted, the accused faces from 180 days to two years behind bars and faces fines of up to $10,000.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Temple Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are facing a charge related to a motor vehicle crime, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Temple, Texas, is a resourceful criminal defense lawyer who will skillfully advocate for your legal rights – in pursuit of your case’s optimal outcome. We are here to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.