From a legal standpoint, there is no charge for "Auto Theft" or "Grand Theft Auto" because all theft crimes are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies based on the value of the item or items stolen. Since most cars or trucks are worth at least $1,500, it is most likely that you would be charged for a felony offense for stealing a car or other motor vehicle. However, even being charged with stealing an old clunker worth less than $1,500 is a serious misdemeanor crime because any theft conviction of your record can result in the loss of a job or not being able to work in certain professions which require a professional license.
If the value of the motor vehicle stolen is worth $1,500 or more, you will be charged with a felony offense and will face time in jail, state jail or prison if you are convicted. Depending on the value of the motor vehicle stolen, you will be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony offense:
- The value is $50 or more but less than $500 (class B misdemeanor)
- The value is $500 or more but less than $1,500 (class A misdemeanor)
- The value is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000 (State Jail Felony)
- The value is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000 (3rd Degree Felony)
- The loss is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000 (2nd Degree Felony)
- The loss is $200,000 or more (1st Degree Felony)