Under New York Law, it is a crime to removing, destroying or defacing a part of a vehicle without the owner’s consent. These charges are called Auto Stripping and they can lead to a criminal record, as well as jail time. There are three different New York Auto Stripping charges. Specifically, they are:

The difference in these charges is explained below.

New York Auto Stripping in the Third Degree

New York Auto Stripping in the Third Degree is codified in Penal Law Section 165.09. Under Penal Law Section 165.09, a person is guilty of Auto Stripping in the Third Degree when he or she either:

  1. Removes or intentionally destroys or defaces any part of a vehicle, without the permission of the owner; OR
  2. Removes or intentionally destroys or defaces any part of an abandoned vehicle.

What is a Considered an Abandoned Vehicle?

The definition of what is considered an abandoned vehicle comes from Section 1224 of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. The following are the applicable time periods for vehicles to be considered abandoned:

  1. More than 6 hours for vehicles without plates on a public road or highway;
  2. More than 24 hours hours on any public road or highway if not legally parked;
  3. More than 48 hours after the parking of such vehicle becomes illegal;
  4. More than 96 hours if left without permission of the owner.

Sentencing and Penalties for NY Auto Stripping in the Third Degree

Auto Stripping in the Third Degree is a Class “A” misdemeanor. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail;
  • Probation;
  • A split sentence (up to 6 months in jail, rest of time on probation);
  • Conditional Discharge (with conditions imposed by the court – such as community service, or restitution);
  • Unconditional Discharge (no conditions imposed by the Court);
  • Time Served.

New York Auto Stripping in the Second Degree

Auto Stripping in the Second Degree is codified in New York Penal Law Section 165.10. This charge is very similar to New York Auto Stripping in the Third Degree, but it does require the presence of one aggravating factor.

Specifically, Auto Stripping in the Second Degree requires that an individual commit Auto Stripping in the Third Degree, in violation of Penal Law Section 165.09, and either:

  1. Have a prior conviction for Auto Stripping in the Third Degree in five proceeding years, OR
  2. Cause damage in excess of one thousand dollars.

Sentencing and Penalties for NY Auto Stripping in the Second Degree

New York Auto Stripping in the Second Degree is a Class “E” Non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • An indeterminate sentence up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison;
  • A determinate sentence of 1 year or less;
  • A split sentence (up to 6 months jail, rest of the time on probation);
  • Probation:
  • Conditional Discharge (with sentencing conditions imposed by the Court).

New York Auto Stripping in the First Degree

Auto Stripping in the First Degree is the most serious of New York Auto Stripping charges. This charge is codified in New York Penal Law Section 165.11. This charge has two elements:

  1. Commission of the crime of Auto Stripping in the Third Degree, AND
  2. The value of the parts exceeding $3,000.

Sentencing and Penalties for NY Auto Stripping in the First Degree

Under New York Law, Auto Stripping in the First Degree is a Class “D” Non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Indeterminate sentence up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison;
  • A determinate sentence up to 1 year in prison;
  • A split sentence (up to 6 months jail, rest of the time on probation);
  • Probation.

Defenses to New York Auto Stripping Charges

Consent of the Owner

One of the defenses to New York Auto Stripping charges is that it was done with the owner’s consent. That is, although parts on the vehicle were damaged, destroyed or defaced, it is not a crime if that was done with the owner’s consent.

Value of Parts

Another defense to NY Auto Stripping charges is that the value of the parts falls under the threshold of NY Auto Stripping in the Second Degree ($1,000) or First Degree ($3,000). If the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt the value of the parts, then you cannot be convicted of that charge. With that being said, you can still be convicted of NY Auto Stripping in the Third Degree, which does not have a threshold for the value of the damage.

Contact Top Rated New York Auto Stripping Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with violating NY Auto Stripping laws, you need experienced counsel to handle your case. We are former New York prosecutors with experience defending these cases. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.