Social media is a daily way of life for most people. People of all ages use social media on a regular basis. Some social media sites are more popular than others. Among people in their teens and twenties, TikTok is likely one of the most common sources of information online. There are many different challenges online. Some are designed to get donations for good causes, while others are for fun. Some challenges are dangerous and even illegal. The Kia challenge is one that is both dangerous and illegal. It challenges someone to steal a car.
The Kia challenge likely made its debut on TikTok in the summer of 2022. The challenge gave people details on how to steal a Kia or Hyundai. These two vehicles were identified specifically because they are supposed to be easier to steal due to design vulnerability. According to the challenge, these vehicles can be more easily stolen without the need for keys. As a result, the crime rate for auto theft has increased over the last year.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What are the long-term effects of being convicted of a crime?”
According to a crime statistics report published by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, although there was a slight drop in the crime rate for some types of crimes, the crime rate for auto thefts has gone up. The CMPD reports that there was a 99% increase in auto thefts in 2023 over the same period in 2022. They attribute this spike, at least in part, to the Kia challenge. According to their report, 95% of suspects arrested for auto theft were juveniles.
Auto Theft Charges
Auto theft is a serious crime, and if you are found guilty, you will face severe penalties. In North Carolina, auto theft falls under the general category of larceny. A larceny may be either a misdemeanor or felony based on the value of the stolen property. When the property value is over $1,000, the crime is a Class H felony. It is important to note that North Carolina law also makes it a felony to receive or transfer a stolen vehicle. While there is no separate grand theft auto charge in North Carolina, almost every auto theft would result in a felony charge.
Sentencing for Felony Conviction
If convicted of a Class H felony, you may receive a sentence that includes active, intermediate, and community punishments. Active punishment is prison time, and for a Class H felony, you could get up to 21 months of confinement. Intermediate punishments consist of such things as supervised probation, house arrest with monitoring, and more. Community punishments may include community service, fines, probation, and restitution. The judge has some leeway to impose a sentence based on mitigating and aggravating factors. In addition, a prior felony conviction will add points to the current sentencing guidelines. Even if you are convicted, a knowledgeable attorney is critical in helping achieve the lowest possible sentence.
If you have been charged with auto theft or any other larceny charges, you will want to vigorously defend yourself. A skilled criminal defense attorney will assist you throughout the legal process and help to get the charges lowered or dropped whenever possible. Contact our criminal defense team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss your case today.
You Cannot Reason with the Unreasonable. The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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