New York Penal Law § 165.11 – Auto Stripping in the First Degree
Auto Stripping in the First Degree is the most serious crime specifically aimed at removing or defacing parts of a vehicle. This offense provides enhanced penalties in situations where a defendant destroys or defaces parts to three or more vehicles, and the aggregate value of the damage exceeds $3,000. Auto Stripping in the 1st Degree is a Class D felony.The Elements of Auto Stripping in the First Degree
The United States Constitution requires that the prosecution prove every element of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
Here, the elements of Auto Stripping in the First Degree include the following:
- The defendant removed, altered, destroyed or defaced the parts of three or more vehicles without the owners’ permission;
- The defendant’s actions in doing so were intentional.
- The total value of the parts that were removed or destroyed from all vehicles mentioned in the indictment exceeds $3,000.
Auto Stripping in the First Degree is a crime that prosecutors use to charge those who commit multiple auto stripping crimes within a short period of time. Typically, by the time a defendant is arrested, they’ve committed multiple offenses, all of which get charged under a single offense. This allows prosecutors to combine what would otherwise be less serious misdemeanor offenses into a single felony count.Related Offenses to NY Penal Law § 165.11
Often, prosecutors bring Auto Stripping in the First Degree charges along with one or more of the following:
- Auto Stripping in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.09
- Auto Stripping in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.10
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.40
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.45
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.50
- Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.05
- Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.06
- Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.08
- Grand Larceny in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 155.35
There are several defenses to Auto Stripping in the First Degree. A successful defense can reduce your sentencing exposure, result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you, or cause the jury to have doubt about the prosecution’s case. The most common defenses include the following:
- The value of the defaced/removed/altered parts from all vehicles did not add up to more than $3,000; and
- While the damage may have totaled more than $3,000, the number of cars from which parts were removed/defaced was fewer than three.
In terms of defenses to each specific act, the defenses to Auto Stripping in the Third Degree will all apply. For example, you may be able to defend against a First Degree offense by establishing that you had at least one owner’s permission. This could reduce both the number of vehicles that were affected as well as the total value of the damage.What Are the Penalties for Violating NY Penal Law § 165.11?
Auto Stripping in the First Degree is a Class D felony. In New York, Class D felony convictions carry a maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison. Additionally, you’ll face a fine of up to $5,000. That said, the actual fine could be higher because New York courts can issue a fine that is up to three times the amount you gained by committing the offense.Are You Facing Felony Auto Stripping Charges?
If the government has arrested you and charged you with multiple auto stripping offenses, chances are you’re facing felony Auto Stripping in the First Degree. At Tilem & Associates, P.C., our theft crime defense attorneys have more than 25 years of experience handling all types of serious auto stripping crimes, including Auto Stripping in the First Degree. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on your defense. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.