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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Hicks

Understanding Unlawful Entry of a Motor Vehicle in Indiana 35-43-4-2.7

Protecting Your Rights: Understanding Unlawful Entry of a Motor Vehicle in Indiana

Welcome to the blog of B. Hicks Law, your trusted criminal defense law firm in Indiana. In today's post, we're going to delve into the legal intricacies of IC 35-43-4-2.7, a statute that deals with the unlawful entry of a motor vehicle. Understanding your rights and legal defenses in such cases is crucial, and we're here to guide you through it.

What is IC 35-43-4-2.7?

IC 35-43-4-2.7 is an Indiana state law that addresses the unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle. Let's break down the key elements of this law and explore your rights and defenses.

Who Does It Apply To?

This statute doesn't apply to certain individuals or situations. Specifically, it does not apply to:

  1. Public Safety Officers: Public safety officers, as defined in IC 35-47-4.5-3, or state police motor carrier inspectors acting within the scope of their duties.

  2. Abandoned or Inoperable Vehicles: Motor vehicles that need to be moved because they are abandoned, inoperable, or improperly parked.

  3. Repossession Agents: Employees or agents of an entity that holds a valid lien on a motor vehicle and are authorized by the lienholder to repossess the motor vehicle due to the owner or lessee's failure to comply with the loan or lease agreement.

What Constitutes Unlawful Entry?

According to IC 35-43-4-2.7, unlawful entry of a motor vehicle occurs when:

  1. A person enters a motor vehicle without the permission of the owner, lessee, or an authorized operator of the vehicle.

  2. The person does not have a contractual interest in the motor vehicle.

This act is classified as a Class B misdemeanor.

Severity of Offense

The level of offense can be increased depending on certain circumstances:

  1. Class A Misdemeanor: If the motor vehicle exhibits visible steering column damage or ignition switch alteration as a result of the unlawful entry, the offense is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor.

  2. Level 6 Felony: If the motor vehicle is used in the commission of a crime and the person occupying the vehicle knew or should have known about the criminal intent, it becomes a Level 6 felony.

Legal Defenses

It's important to know your rights and potential defenses in cases related to unlawful entry of a motor vehicle. You can mount a defense if you reasonably believed that entering the vehicle was necessary to prevent bodily injury or property damage. This can provide you with a strong defense against prosecution.

Rebuttable Presumption

The law establishes a rebuttable presumption that a person did not have permission to enter a motor vehicle if the vehicle displays visible steering column damage or ignition switch alteration. This presumption can be challenged in court.

How B. Hicks Law Can Help

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to unlawful entry of a motor vehicle, it's essential to have experienced legal representation. B. Hicks Law is here to provide expert counsel, ensuring your rights are protected and exploring the best possible defense strategies for your case.

Don't hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation. We are committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring that justice prevails.

In conclusion, understanding IC 35-43-4-2.7 is essential to protect your rights when dealing with charges related to unlawful entry of a motor vehicle in Indiana. If you need assistance or legal guidance, remember that B. Hicks Law is just a phone call away. Your freedom and reputation are our top priorities.


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