Abandonment Of A Motor Vehicle in Colorado

Print Friendly

Statute for 18 – 4 – 512 – Abandonment Of A Motor Vehicle

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-4-512. Abandonment of a motor vehicle

(1) Any person who abandons any motor vehicle upon a street, highway, right-of-way, or any other public property, or upon any private property without the express consent of the owner or person in lawful charge of that private property commits abandonment of a motor vehicle.

(2) To “abandon” means to leave a thing with the intention not to retain possession of or assert ownership over it. The intent need not coincide with the act of leaving.

(3) It is prima facie evidence of the necessary intent that:

(a) The motor vehicle has been left for more than seven days unattended and unmoved; or

(b) License plates or other identifying marks have been removed from the motor vehicle; or

(c) The motor vehicle has been damaged or is deteriorated so extensively that it has value only for junk or salvage; or

(d) The owner has been notified by a law enforcement agency to remove the motor vehicle, and it has not been removed within three days after notification.

(4) Abandonment of a motor vehicle is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Criminal Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.


Colorado Penalties for Abandonment Of A Motor Vehicle

Penalties

The charge of Abandonment Of A Motor Vehicle, is categorized as a:

M3

Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Abandonment Of A Motor Vehicle below. These will be adapted by your Denver CO Attorney for your case.

The elements of the crime of abandonment of a motor vehicle are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. knowingly abandoned any motor vehicle, 4. [upon a [street] [highway] [right-of-way] [any other public property].] -or- 4. [upon any private property, 5. without the express consent of the [owner] [person in lawful charge of that private property].] [5. or 6. without the affirmative defense in instruction number .] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of abandonment of a motor vehicle. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of abandonment of a motor vehicle. NOTES ON USE Delete inapplicable bracketed material. When this instruction is used, the applicable definition of “abandon” must be given. There are three possible special rules concerning proof of intent which may be given with this instruction.

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Colorado Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Abandonment Of A Motor Vehicle.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca