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NY Penal Law Article 165 – Theft Crimes

By Spodek Law Group | June 7, 2016
(Last Updated On: July 26, 2023)

Last Updated on: 26th July 2023, 10:10 pm

Next on our list of legal subjects to tackle is various theft crimes that you can be accused of. As usual, we’re going to go into the exact nature of the charges without having to sift through complicated legalese. So that being said, let’s start off with unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree.

Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree.

You’re guilty of this crime when you take a vehicle without the consent of the owner, or when you can assume the owner doesn’t give you consent. You’re also guilty of this if you have custody of someone else’s vehicle because of a prior agreement about some sort of maintenance work, and you use the car outside of that realm. Another way you’d be guilty of this is if you have an agreement to return someone’s vehicle by a certain time and then withhold the vehicle instead of returning it, again being a major deviation from what you had initially agreed on.

In this section, the term “gross deviation from the agreement” basically means any kind of circumstances where someone has custody of a vehicle for fifteen days or less in regards to a written agreement, and then keeps possession of that vehicle for at least seven days beyond what was agreed upon, and then if that person continues the possession for more than two days after service of a notice by the owner when exactly the vehicle should be returned. Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the second degree.

As you probably guessed, this charge is pretty similar to unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, but it also adds on the stipulation that you committed the crime and were also previously convicted of the same crime within the last ten years. Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the second degree is considered to be a class E felony.

Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the first degree.

Last for unauthorized use of a vehicle, we have the first degree charge. This involves committing the preceding crime with the addition that you operate a vehicle, without the consent of the owner, in order to commit a class A, class B, class C, or class D felony, or during your escape from committing one of these crimes. It goes without saying that it’s presumed you’d know in this case that you didn’t have the consent of the owner. This charge is in fact a class D felony.

Auto stripping in the third degree.

Now that we’ve covered unauthorized use of a vehicle, we’re going to move on to the crime of auto stripping. For the third degree charge of this crime, you’d be guilty if you remove or intentionally destroy or deface some part of a vehicle, obviously without the permission of the owner. Another way is if you remove or intentionally destroy/deface any part of an abandoned vehicle. One possible defense for this is if you were authorized to do this in regards to a law, or else by permission if the owner. Auto stripping in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Auto stripping in the second degree.

As you probably guessed, this charge involves committing the last crime, but also having been convicted of violating certain provisions in the last five years, or if you previously intentionally destroyed, defaced, or otherwise damaged some part of two or more vehicles, except for abandoned vehicles, without the actual permission of the owner, and the value of the parts that you removed come up to a total of $1,000. This crime is punished as a class E felony.

Auto stripping in the first degree.

Last on our list of various theft crimes is auto stripping in the first degree. You’re guilty of this one when you remove or otherwise intentionally destroy, deface, or alter the parts of three or more vehicle, excepting of course abandoned vehicles, without permission from the owner, and the value of all the parts taken adds up to $3,000. This crime is considered a class D felony.

Theft Crimes: Understanding Various Charges and Their Degrees

When it comes to legal issues, theft crimes are undoubtedly a complex area to explore. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the different types of theft charges that one can face and explain them in simpler terms without the need to decipher complex legal jargon. So, let’s dive straight into understanding the various degrees of unauthorized use of a vehicle and auto stripping crimes.

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle

1. Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Third Degree

In the world of theft crimes, unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree is the first degree we encounter. If you unlawfully take a vehicle without the owner’s consent or make use of someone else’s vehicle beyond your original agreement scope, causing a gross deviation from the arrangement, you would be guilty of this crime. Such unauthorized use is considered a class A misdemeanor.

2. Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Second Degree

The second-degree charge is similar to the third-degree charge, with one key difference. If you commit the same crime with the added caveat of having a previous conviction of the same charge within the last ten years, then you are facing an unauthorized use of a vehicle in the second degree. Such offenses are classified as a class E felony.

3. Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the First Degree

Lastly, unauthorized use of a vehicle in the first degree involves the same crime but with an added twist. If you operate a vehicle without the owner’s consent, in order to commit a class A, B, C, or D felony or while escaping after committing one of these crimes, then you would be held accountable for the first degree charge, which is a class D felony.

Auto Stripping

1. Auto Stripping in the Third Degree

Moving on to another prevalent theft crime, auto stripping in the third degree occurs when you deliberately remove, destroy, or deface any part of a vehicle without the owner’s permission, or if you engage in the same activity with an abandoned vehicle. A possible defense might be authorization from a law or the vehicle owner’s permission. This crime is recognized as a class A misdemeanor.

2. Auto Stripping in the Second Degree

Similar to the previous charge, auto stripping in the second degree consists of perpetrating the third-degree crime, but with an added condition. Suppose you have a conviction of violating specific provisions within the last five years or intentionally damaged parts of two or more vehicles (apart from abandoned vehicles) without the owner’s consent, with the removed parts’ total value amounting to $1,000 or more. In that case, you face a class E felony.

3. Auto Stripping in the First Degree

Finally, let’s delve into the most severe auto stripping crime – auto stripping in the first degree. You would be guilty of this offense if you intentionally remove, destroy, or alter parts of three or more vehicles (excluding abandoned vehicles) without the owner’s permission, and the combined value of the stolen components amounts to $3,000 or more. Such a crime is considered a class D felony.

To sum up, having a clear understanding of these various theft crimes and their nuances can help you be better equipped to deal with the legal implications. From unauthorized use of a vehicle to auto stripping, comprehending the disparity in degrees and their associated consequences is vital in today’s age. Armed with this knowledge, you are now better prepared to navigate the world of theft crimes, whether it is for your protection or to educate others.

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