Definition - What does Joyriding mean?

Joyriding is a crime that occurs when someone takes a motor vehicle without permission.

Often – but not always – committed by young offenders, this crime differs from theft because the perpetrators intend to return the vehicles to the rightful owners once they've finished "using" them. For this reason, the penalties for joyriding are not as harsh as those imposed in auto theft cases.

Justipedia explains Joyriding

Joyriding is typically attributed to youthful exuberance, immaturity and irresponsibility. However, not all offenders are teens or young adults with new learner's permits or driver's licenses.

In some cases, adults with access to a stranger's vehicle also succumb to temptation – often when the vehicle in question is a high-performance sports car, or luxury or vintage model that would usually be unattainable.

In any case, the offense is usually classified as a misdemeanor. This means that the punishment for this crime can range from a fine to 12 months in jail, or both.

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