Illegal Use of a Motor Vehicle

Illegal Use of a Motor Vehicle

It is an offence to drive, use, or interfere with a motor vehicle without first obtaining the consent of the owner of the vehicle.

Which court will hear the matter

This is a summary offence and will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.

What the prosecution must prove

The prosecution must prove that:

  • you drove, used or interfered with a motor vehicle; and
  • you did not have consent to do so.


There are a range of possible defences including, but not limited to, the following:

  • you were not driving;
  • you had the consent of the owner;
  • you did not interfere with the vehicle;
  • duress
  • necessity / emergency;
  • mental impairment

Pleading guilty

Deciding whether or not to plead guilty has significant implications and should be made after discussing your case with our lawyers. If you decide to plead guilty to the offence, our lawyers can assist you to get the best possible results.


The maximum penalty for a first offence is 2 years imprisonment. If you have previously committed this offence there is a minimum 3 months imprisonment and a maximum 4 years imprisonment. You will also be disqualified from holding a driver's licence for 1 year.

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