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Stealing Motor Vehicle or Vessel

Stealing a motor vehicle or vessel is an offence under section 154F of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You took a motor vehicle
  2. You were not legally authorised to take that vehicle,
  3. You knew you were not legally authorised to take the vehicle, and
  4. You intended to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle

An attempt to steal is sufficient to for the purposes of the offence

A ‘motor vehicle’ is:

  1. A vehicle built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of it
  2. Any part of such a vehicle that contains an identification number, or
  3. A motor that is capable of forming part of a vehicle

A ‘vessel’ is:

A water craft of any description used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

A defence to the charge is having a ‘claim of right’ over the property which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to the property

Duress and necessity are also defences to the charge

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