Stealing a Car, Boat or Trailer

If you take a car, boat or trailer without an owner’s consent you will be committing the criminal offence of Stealing a Motor Vehicle, Vessel or Trailer contained in Section 154F of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).



154F of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states:

‘A person who steals a motor vehicle, vessel or trailer is guilty of an offence’.

The nature and elements of the offence of Stealing a Motor Vehicle or Vessel were considered in the case of R v Glenister (1980) 2 NSWLR 597 esp at 607–608. Here it was said  

“The jury should be told that to establish that the accused took the conveyance “fraudulently”, he or she must be shown to have acted dishonestly in the sense that the purpose at the time of the taking of the conveyance was dishonest and that, in deciding whether the act of taking was dishonest, they should apply the current standards of ordinary decent people”


Maximum/Possible Penalties

In NSW, stealing a Motor Vehicle or Vessel if heard in the Local Court carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment. If tried on indictment in the District Court the maximum is 10 years imprisonment.

Please note these penalties are reserved for the worst kind of offending and are unlikely to be what you would receive.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Stealing A Motor Vehicle or Vessel charge of;

  • Full time Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Community Correction Order (CCO)
  • Conditional release Order (CRO) (ie: bond)



Since Stealing a Motor Vehicle, Vessel or Trailer offence is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt being;

  • You were the person who committed the offence;
  • That you stole a motor vehicle or vessel; and
  • You had the intention to permanently deprive the lawful owner of the motor vehicle, vessel or trailer.



Some of the possible defences available can be as follows:

  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another your case may come under the argument of duress.
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring to you or someone else, you may come under the argument of necessity.
  • You did not steal but had the owner’s consent to take the item.



For Stealing a Motor Vehicle, Vessel or Trailer, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)



There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are charged with an offence, our team at Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email for more information. The first consultation is free.


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