Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle

We have experienced unlawful use of a motor vehicle lawyers

We're experienced in unlawful use of a motor vehicle offence charges

If you’re facing unlawful use of a motor vehicle charges, it is crucial to engage our experienced team so that you can obtain the right advice and maximise your charges of a defence or reduced sentence.

(1) A person who—


(a) unlawfully uses any motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel without the consent of the person in lawful possession thereof; or


(b) has in the person’s possession any motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel without the consent of the person in lawful possession thereof with intent to deprive the owner or person in lawful possession thereof of the use and possession thereof either temporarily or permanently;


is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.


(1A) If the offender uses or intends to use the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an indictable offence, the offender is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.


(1B) If the offender—


(a) wilfully destroys, damages, removes or otherwise interferes with the mechanism (or part thereof) or other part of or equipment attached to the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel; or


(b) intends to destroy, damage, remove or otherwise interfere with the mechanism (or part thereof) or other part of or equipment attached to the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel;


the offender is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.


To prove the offence, the police must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused unlawfully used the vehicle (with used taken to mean the accused travelled in it as a driver or passenger), the person in lawful possession of the vehicle did not consent to its use and that the accused used it knowing the person in lawful possession would not consent to its use.


Alternatively, the police can show beyond a reasonably doubt that the accused had the vehicle in their possession, did not have the consent of the person in lawful possession of the vehicle, knew that the person in lawful possession had not given consent to the accused having possessions, had the vehicle in his or her possession with the intent to deprive the person in lawful possession of the uses of the vehicle either temporarily or permanently.


There are defences that are available, including that the accused had the lawful consent of the owner of the vehicle to use it, there is an honest claim of right, identification (that it was not the accused), that the accused did not use or occupy the vehicle to the exclusion of the owner or that the vehicle was abandoned.


The maximum penalty for the offence of unlawful use of a motor vehicle is set out under the section, and hence it is vital to always ensure you have an experienced lawyer on your side.

How RHC Solicitors help


We have experienced criminal lawyers across Queensland. We deal with the police and attend the Magistrates Court and District Court every day and have handled thousands of unlawful use of a motor vehicle offence matters.

We're affordable lawyers and often offer fixed fee quotes so that you know exactly what is ahead.