Automobile Misuse and Theft: Criminal Defense to Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property & Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle

You have just been arrested in New York City after driving in a car that is stolen. Maybe you “borrowed” it for a little too long and you didn’t return it. It could be that a friend gave you the keys and you thought it was his or you were just going for a “joy ride.” Another possibility is that it was a rental car you failed to return timely. Regardless, you frantically call your criminal defense attorney and you want to know what possible charges you face.The answer is simple…Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle are the likely charges you would face if it is alleged that you stole or used a vehicle without permission or authority.

Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, PL 155.30, makes it a felony to steal property when, pursuant to subsection (8) the value of that property exceeds $100 and the property is a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle. That’s right. If you steal a car and it is worth more than $100, then you are looking at an “E” felony punishable by up to four years in state prison. It is important to note that you can still be charged with a more serious level of Grand Larceny punishable by significantly more prison if the car is equal to or exceeds $3,000 or $50,000.

Criminal Possession of Stolen Property almost mimics the Grand Larceny statute. You are guilty of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree when you knowingly possess stolen property, with the intent to benefit yourself or another person other than the owner or to impede the recovery by the owner and, pursuant to subsection (5) the value of the property exceeds $100 and the property is a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle. Like Grand Larceny, you can still be charged with more serious levels of this offense if the value of the vehicle is equal to or exceeds the thresholds of of $3,000 or $50,000.

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle ranges from a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail to a “D” felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison. Generally, you are guilty of this offense if you know that you do not have the permission of the owner of a vehicle, you ride in, possess or operate the vehicle. Additionally, if you have permission, but do not return the vehicle at the specified time you may also be guilty of this crime. This offense is punished more severely as a felony if you have previously been convicted of the crime in the previous ten years or you commit this crime while also committing certain other felonies.

Whatever situation you or a loved one is in, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC so that you can start fighting to make sure your rights, liberty and integrity are preserved.

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