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Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle

In Massachusetts, under MGL c. 90 s. 24, use of a motor vehicle without authority carries a mandatory minimum 30 day jail sentence, up to the following potential penalties:

  • 30 days (minimum) up to 2 years in jail*
  • $500 fine (minimum) up to $5,000 fine
  • 1 year license loss (mandatory) up to 3 years license loss

* A subsequent conviction for this offense is a felony, and carries up to 5 years in state prison.

This charge very often arises out of a misunderstanding. In order to be convicted of this charge, the prosecution must prove that you did not have authority to operate the motor vehicle, and also that you knew you did not have authority or permission to operate the motor vehicle. Very often, this charge arises if you drive a friend's car while your license is suspended. In such an instance, your friend will receive a criminal citation for allowing an unlicensed person to operate his/ her motor vehicle. In order to avoid criminal charges, your friend denies that he/she ever gave you permission to drive the car, and now you are facing a mandatory minimum jail sentence. It is important that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately upon receiving notice of charges, or potential charges. Do not speak to any law enforcement about the incident. The prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not have authority to drive the car, and also that you knew you did not have such authority. Do not help them make a case against you.

Please click here for further details about this charge on our sister website,, which is dedicated exclusively to motor vehicle crimes.

If you have been charged with using a motor vehicle without authority, contact our office immediately:(617) 830-2188

Client Reviews
"Ben Urbelis recently represented me in an OUI case in which I had crashed my car. I honestly did not believe I had any chance of beating it, but fortunately for me Ben was outstanding and all charges were dropped. In my first hearing he was calm, assertive and straight to the point. I was extremely impressed and satisfied. I left my hearing feeling confident that I had made the right choice of hiring him. I am positive I would have lost this case and walked away with an OUI if I hadn't. I am very happy with how he handled my case and how reassured I felt having him as my lawyer." MC
"Benjamin Urbelis, an attorney with Urbelis Law LLC, took our call late in the evening when we needed him. Benjamin explained the legal process in a manner that we could understand and provided the legal representation needed to clear up the issue immediately. His experience and credentials were evident in the way in which he handled all of the details of our case and achieved complete success. Thank you Benjamin for your professionalism and wise counsel." FB
"Huge thank you to not only my friend, but my lawyer,Ben Urbelis..I presented him with a case that at first was a bit tricky on paper... but we worked hard together and got all information we needed to prove i was innocent! He knew from the get go a year ago that he was gonna smash this case, and he did!! Cant thank you enough man! If anyone needs a lawyer, hes your guy... no question" PB