Everyone knows that you’re not supposed to take something that isn’t yours. This includes cars. However, that doesn’t stop some people from stealing another person’s car. Stealing and being convicted of auto theft in California one time is bad. Getting caught multiple times is worse.
The reason multiple auto theft convictions are so bad is California Penal Code 666.5 PC. That particular law doesn’t pertain to auto convictions, but it does deal with multiple convictions for felonies, and grand theft auto is a felony.
The purpose of California Penal Code 666.5 PC is to enhance sentences and encourage anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony, to think twice before doing something, such as stealing a car, that would result in an additional conviction. Because of California Penal Code 666.5 PC, both the amount of fine and jail time in the sentence can drastically increase. California Penal Code 666.5 PC is enacted the second time a person is convicted of grand theft auto and will be used for all subsequent convictions.
California Penal Code 666.5 PC
It states: “Every person who, having been previously convicted of a felony violation of Section 10851 of the Vehicle Code, or felony grand theft involving an automobile in violation of subdivision (d) of Section 487 or former subdivision (3) of Section 487, as that section read prior to being amended by Section 4 of Chapter 1125 of the Statutes of 1993, or felony grand theft involving a motor vehicle, as defined in Section 415 of the Vehicle Code, any trailer, as defined in Section 630 of the Vehicle Code, any special construction equipment, as defined in Section 565 of the Vehicle Code, or any vessel, as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code in violation of former Section 487h, or a felony violation of Section 496d regardless of whether or not the person actually served a prior prison term for those offenses, is subsequently convicted of any of these offenses shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years, or a fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both the fine and the imprisonment.”
The first time a person is convicted of grand theft auto in California, the sentence could range from 16 months to 3 years in prison. The second conviction will include a sentence that ranges from 2 years to 4 years. The judge could also order you to pay a $10,000 fee.
Grand theft auto is simply taking someone’s vehicle without their permission. It doesn’t matter if you were only taking it for a quick spin around the block or planned on dismantling it and selling the parts, you’ll still be convicted of grand theft auto and the second conviction will be worse.