Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle

What is Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle?

Unauthorized Use of Vehicle, common referred to as UUMV or Auto Theft, is when a car is taken without the consent of the owner. It's important to note that UUMV is not an offense that involves actually stealing a car. It's essentially the use of a vehicle without the owner's permission. The law requires that the person has knowledge that the vehicle is stolen -- which often time is circumstantial. Punched out ignitions, no key, or heavily damaged vehicles are often used by the prosecutor to show that a reasonable person would have clearly known the vehicle was stolen.

You can read the specific Statute and Punishments for Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle below.

What You Need To Know

A car being reported stolen is all it takes to be arrested for UUMV, which is the common acronym for Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle. A handful of UUMV cases often involve family members who take the car without letting the other person know they took the car -- it's not that they didn't have permission, but rather the car was taken without them knowing. But most Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle involve a person driving a vehicle that is stolen. This can be common for individuals who frequently borrow cars from others.

For individuals arrested for Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle, an offense under this section is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in the state jail and fines.


Closely Related Offenses

Related areas to Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle include offenses under the umbrella of Theft, such as Burglary of a Vehicle, or Shoplifting and Theft.

If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.


Jail Release and Bond for Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle

Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle arrests will result in jail -- and a bail bond will be required for release from Jail. An Attorney can help obtain a Personal Bond for Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle by arguing to a Judge for release. This will require hiring the attorney for both the jail release and representation on the case itself; although typically the jail release fee is the deposit for representation.

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant, which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an active Travis County Arrest Warrant.

Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.


Defenses for Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle

Defenses for Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle typically involve whether there are issues with the vehicle that would cause a person to believe it was stolen. Punched out ignitions, or no keys needed to start the vehicle are red flags. Likewise, any statements a person makes to officers, such as "I borrowed this from a guy, but I don't know his name," or "I suspected it was stolen, because it's too nice for my friend to own" are difficult to overcome.

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.


Work with an Experienced Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.


Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.


How We Can Help

The goal should be a reduction of charges, a dismissal, or avoiding jail for any Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.


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The Law in Texas on Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle

Texas Penal Code Sec. 31.07. Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly operates another's boat, airplane, or motor-propelled vehicle without the effective consent of the owner.


Penalties for Theft in Texas
Level of Offense Punishment Fines
State jail felony 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or no more than $10,000 fines

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