New York Auto Stripping: What You Need to Know
New York has laws against auto stripping, which is when someone takes parts off of a car that doesn’t belong to them, usually to sell those parts for profit. Auto stripping is a pretty big problem in New York, especially in big cities like New York City. This article will explain what auto stripping is, what the different laws say about it, and what kind of penalties you can face if you get caught doing it.
Penalties for Auto Stripping in New York
The specific penalties for an auto stripping conviction will depend on the degree of the offense and your criminal history. But in general, the potential punishments include:
- Up to 1 year in jail for a misdemeanor conviction
- State prison time between 1 to 7 years for a felony conviction
- Fines up to $5000
- Restitution to compensate the vehicle owner for damage and stolen parts
- Probation between 1 to 5 years
Auto stripping often results in multiple criminal charges too. For example, you may be charged with auto stripping as well as:
- Grand larceny for stealing vehicle parts
- Criminal mischief for damaging the vehicle
- Possession of burglar’s tools if you used tools to remove parts
- Buying/receiving or criminal possession of stolen property for selling the parts
So you could end up facing consecutive sentences if convicted of multiple crimes. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a criminal defense attorney if you’ve been accused of auto stripping. An experienced attorney understands these laws and can build the strongest defense to avoid a conviction or minimize the penalties.
Defenses to Auto Stripping Charges
There are some potential defenses that a skilled lawyer may be able to raise on your behalf to fight auto stripping accusations, such as:
- You had permission: If the vehicle owner gave you permission to remove parts, then you aren’t guilty of stripping. However, the permission must be proven.
- The vehicle was abandoned: It’s not auto stripping if you took parts from a vehicle that was abandoned. But you must prove the car was actually abandoned under the legal definition.
- You weren’t the stripper: If your lawyer can show police arrested the wrong person and it wasn’t actually you who stripped the vehicle, the charges should be dismissed.
- Illegal search: If police performed an illegal vehicle search to find stripped parts, those parts and any other evidence may be excluded from the case. This could lead to a dismissal.
- Improper police procedures: If the police made mistakes in collecting evidence or reporting the stripping, the case could be weakened or dismissed.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest and build the strongest defense strategy possible. This gives you the best chance of avoiding conviction.