Speak Up! - View Question #69
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Question: I was in the backseat of a stolen car and was charged with joyriding. What might happen to me in court?
Answer: Under Arizona Law (ARS 13-1803), joyriding has been found to mean when a person is physically in a vehicle without the permission of the vehicle's owner. Unfortunately, it does not matter if you are actually driving the vehicle or not. In other words, even being in the back seat of a vehicle without the owners' permission is a violation of Arizona law.
This can be a serious matter. In fact, it's a class 6 felony.
The judge has several options in which to punish offenders of this law. First of all, if you are convicted of this crime, you can expect to automatically lose your driver's license (see ARS 28-3304 (A)(3)). Second, you can expect the judge to add some other form of punishment. However, this will depend greatly on whether you have been in trouble before and your age. Other punishments could include fines, court ordered community service or even incarceration.