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NYC Auto Crimes Attorney

Those who are arrested for car theft in New York are prosecuted under the state’s grand larceny, auto theft, and joyriding laws. While most are aware that car theft is unlawful, many do not realize that title fraud and other types of auto-related white collar crimes also qualify as auto theft and are punishable by jail time and fines. To ensure that you are properly defended following your own arrest please contact an experienced New York City auto crimes attorney as soon as possible.

Theft and Stolen Cars

Under New York law, a person can be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree if he or she is accused of unlawfully appropriating someone else’s vehicle, as long as that property had a value of at least $100. Although not all defendants who are convicted of this offense are required to complete a jail sentence, judges do have discretion to sentence a defendant to up to four years in prison. If the vehicle in question was valued at between $3,000 and $50,000, however, the charge could be increased to grand larceny in the third degree, which comes with a seven year prison sentence.

In addition to facing grand larceny charges, a person accused of car theft could also face charges of joyriding, which is Class A misdemeanor, but could become a Class D felony if there is evidence of other illegal conduct.

Title Fraud

Although many people don’t realize it, certain types of fraud are actually considered theft in New York. Title fraud, for example, which involves selling vehicles with counterfeit or altered titles, can qualify as a white collar crime. Title washing is another fraud-based offense that constitutes auto theft and involves transferring a vehicle’s title between different states in order to disguise the history of the car and confuse the ownership trail. Unfortunately, many dealerships are not aware that a vehicle they are selling has a washed or fraudulent title, but still come under fire from state and federal agencies once the fraud is discovered.

Vehicle Identification Fraud

Altering a car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and then using a different VIN on ownership or registration documents is also unlawful under both state and federal law, as is using modified manufacturer stickers and bar codes. In fact, knowingly removing, tampering with, altering, or obliterating a VIN can be charged as a felony in federal court. Those who are convicted of this offense could find themselves sentenced to up to five years in jail and forced to pay expensive fines. However, conviction is only possible when prosecutors can prove that a person knowingly removed or altered the number and also had the intent to further the theft of the vehicle in question. Defendants who can provide evidence that these elements are not fulfilled could have their charges dismissed.

Contact Our Auto Crime Legal Team Today

If you were accused of auto theft or a fraud-related crime involving a vehicle, you need the guidance of a knowledgeable and skilled NYC auto crime attorney who can protect your interests. Please call 212-732-0002 today to speak with dedicated auto crime attorney Mark I. Cohen, Esq. about your legal options.

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"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

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