Eppenger v. State

In Eppenger v. State, 966 P.2d 995 (Alaska App. 1998) the Court discussed the legislative history of the first-degree and second-degree vehicle theft statutes. The Court noted that the plain language of AS 11.46.360(a) appears to criminalize driving a vehicle "even if the defendant originally obtained the vehicle with permission." However, we agreed with Eppenger that "it does not seem reasonable that the legislature intended to treat this conduct as a felony when it provided, in a related statute, that unreasonable retention of a car under a written agreement would be punishable as a misdemeanor." Judge Mannheimer's concurrence also suggested that the initial taking of the vehicle had to be "trespassory."