Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle

What may have been a prank, joy riding, or a misunderstanding can result in serious consequences. For example, these cases can result in serious jail time, hefty fines, and damage to your reputation. As a result, you could suffer lasting damage to your reputation, future, and employment opportunities. If you are facing an unauthorized use of a vehicle (sometimes referred to as UUMV), it is extremely important to take it very seriously and mount the strongest possible defense. You need an experienced Dallas unauthorized use of a vehicle attorney in your corner.

Dallas Unauthorized Use of Vehicle Attorney

If you or someone you love has been accused of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Dallas, contact the Law Office of Mike Howard. Most importantly, Dallas unauthorized use of a vehicle attorney Mike Howard has the experience, trial skills, and dedication that you need when you are fighting for your life. We will do everything we can to fight for you. Moreover, Mr. Howard will give you an honest assessment of your case and explain the law and your legal options.

A Different Kind of Attorney

We approach our clients differently than a lot of attorneys. Above all, our philosophy is that being a great lawyer is more than getting you a great result. First, our office is centered around you. This means we start by truly listening to you to understand your case and your goals. Further, our team works to provide you a client experience that is as easy and stress-free as possible. Answering your questions and keeping you informed is very important to us. Most importantly, we treat you as a person, not a number. Finally, our goal is to achieve the best possible result for you. If you’re looking for a different kind of attorney you’ve come to the right place.

Our Case Process

Listen & Understand

We focus on clients as real people. First, we list to understand who you are and what you need. Then we make sure we fully understand the facts of the case.

Open Communication

We explain the law, your rights, and the legal process. Because communication is very important to us, we strive to quickly answer questions and return communication.

Fight for Justice

Simply put: we fight hard for you. In the courtroom, in negotiations, and before a case even is officially opened, we fight for justice for you.

Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle Charges in Dallas

A person commits unauthorized use of a vehicle (Texas Penal Code § 31.07) if they intentionally or knowingly operate another’s vehicle without the effective consent of the owner.

“Vehicle” includes boats, airplanes, or motor-propelled vehicles. “Effective consent” consent by a person legally authorized to act for the owner. Consent is not effective if:

  • induced by deception or coercion. OR
  • given by a person the actor knows is not legally authorized to act for the owner. OR
  • given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is known by the actor to be unable to make reasonable property dispositions. OR
  • given solely to detect the commission of an offense. OR
  • given by a person who by reason of advanced age is known by the actor to have a diminished capacity to make informed and rational decisions about the reasonable disposition of property.

Often times the central issue in these cases is whether you knew or should have known whether they had the actual owner’s or their representative’s effective consent.

Related Charges

Theft is a similar offense to unauthorized use of a vehicle. Often times if the prosecutor cannot prove theft, they will charge UUMV. For information about theft, see our theft crimes page.

See our property crimes page for more information about property crimes generally.

Resources and Information

See our criminal defense resource center for more information on fundamental rights in a criminal case, definitions of culpable mental states (intentionally, knowingly, etc), defenses to prosecution, and more.

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle Penalties

Unauthorized use of a vehicle is a state jail felony. As a result, you could face 6 months – 2 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. A conviction for a felony offense, however, carries other consequences like suspension of the right to vote and loss of the right to own or possess a firearm.

Defending Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle Charges in Dallas

First and foremost, the prosecutor must prove their allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot rule out each and every possible reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence prevails. As a result, the court must find you not guilty. This means you don’t have to prove that you didn’t do it. You don’t have to prove anything!

The only way the prosecution wins is if the jury believes their story is the only reasonable way it could’ve happened. If they have any reasonable doubts that it actually happened, they must find you not guilty. If they reasonably think it could’ve happened another way, they must find you not guilty. This is the highest burden of proof in our justice system. When implemented by a skilled Dallas unauthorized use of vehicle attorney, it can be a powerful weapon.

Choosing the Right Unauthorized Use of Vehicle Attorney in Dallas

Searching for unauthorized use of vehicle attorneys in Dallas can be overwhelming. After all, you are choosing someone who will hold your life, your future, and your family’s future in their hands. You have to be comfortable with them and feel that you can trust the information and advice they give you. Attorneys are supposed to always work in their clients’ best interest. That shouldn’t just be meaningless talk.

First, talk to several attorneys to get a feel for them and their staff. Do they take the time necessary to get to know you, to listen to what’s important to you, and answer your questions? Second, do they show you that you matter to them as a person and not just as a fee? Third, beware of lawyers who put the hard sell on you, who make big promises. No attorney should ever make a guarantee about a case. Finally, absolutely avoid an attorney who doesn’t communicate the scope of the work and their fee clearly in a written contract.

What Makes Mike Howard Different

Many attorneys take advantage of their clients’ ignorance of the criminal justice process. We take the opposite approach. A knowledgeable client is a happy client. Therefore, we provide a wealth of information in the way of articles about criminal offenses, blog posts, and videos for free on our website.

Visit Our YouTube Channel for informational videos and client testimonials.
Visit Our blog for posts on cases, defenses, and criminal law information.

Dallas Unauthorized Use of Vehicle Attorney Mike Howard

Above all, I strive to help my clients through difficult times with compassion and integrity. In Dallas innocent people can get accused, charged, and convicted when they don’t have a Dallas unauthorized use of vehicle attorney fighting for them. I believe in standing up for people facing criminal accusations and helping them navigate all that comes with being thrown into the criminal justice system.


The cornerstone of my law practice is focusing on my clients as individuals.  I start by taking the time to understand not just the facts of their case, but who they are and what they need. Because I know the criminal justice system can be intimidating, I explain the process, their rights, and their options. Client communication is extremely important to me, so I make sure my team and I do everything possible to quickly answer questions and return messages.

Willing to Fight

Most importantly, I am willing to fight a case in court.  I have a track record of delivering fantastic results at trial. While not every client and case needs to go to trial, it can make a difference. When your Dallas unauthorized use of vehicle attorney has a reputation as a skilled trial attorney who fights for their clients, however, it can make all the difference in the world.