joyriding, n. The illegal driving of someone else’s automobile without permission, but with no intent to deprive the owner of it permanently. • Under the Model Penal Code, the offender’s reasonable belief that the owner would have consented is an affirmative defense. See Model Penal Code § 223.
— Also termed unauthorized use of a vehicle. [Cases: Automobiles 339. C.J.S. Motor Vehicles §§ 1511–1523.] — joyride, vb. — joyrider, n.
“When the automobile began to appear and was limited to the possession of a few of the more fortunate members of the community, many persons who ordinarily respected the property rights of others, yielded to the temptation to drive one of these new contrivances without the consent of the owner. This became so common that the term ‘joyrider’ was coined to refer to the person who indulged in such unpermitted use of another’s car. For the most part it was a relatively harmless type of trespass ….” Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 333 (3d ed. 1982).