Forgery of VIN
The state of New York has very detailed laws regarding forgery. Under New York Penal Code 170.65, a person can be found guilty of forgery of a vehicle identification number if a VIN is destroyed, covered, altered, defaced, or otherwise changed. The forgery charges apply to any area where a VIN typically appears including parts of a vehicle. Additionally, if the number is removed, a person can be found guilty of forgery. Forgery charges can also apply if a person applies a VIN to a vehicle, except where vehicle and traffic laws allow it. It is also unlawful for a person to defraud or knowingly recreate a VIN label, sticker, or plate unless allowed by the United States National Highway Safety Administration.
Forgery of Vehicle Identification Numbers Penalties in New York
As technology grows, there are more methods for forgery to be created. In an effort to stop forgery, financial institutions, businesses, and law enforcement agencies have security measures in place. Additionally, the criminal justice system has stiff penalties and consequences for those charged with any forgery including currency, documents, and vehicle identification numbers. In New York, the forgery of vehicle identification numbers is a Class E felony. If found guilty of forging a VIN, a defendant could face substantial fines up to $15,000 and up to 15 years in a state prison.
Increased Charges for Forgery of Rare, Unique, or Antique Vehicles
Under New York state’s broad forgery laws, a person can have additional or more severe charges filed against them if they forge the VIN of a rare, unique, or antique vehicle. Many collectible vehicles have substantial monetary values. If a person forges a vehicle with a much less monetary value to appear to be a more valuable vehicle, additional more serious charges can be filed against a person.
Vehicle Identification Forgery Defenses
With significant monetary fines and extended prison terms, it is important for anyone suspected or charged with the forgery of vehicle identification numbers to consider all legal defenses. The key to fighting a forgery charge in New York revolves around intent. New York forgery laws require the defendant to have forged a vehicle identification number with intent to defraud. If an attorney can prove that you did not have any intent to defraud, or you were not aware that the VIN was forged, you may have a valid defense to beat the charges. A reputable criminal defense attorney can find weaknesses in a cases’ evidence and develop strategies to build a solid defense.
Forgery of a VIN Defense Attorney in NY
No matter what the situation is that lead to you being charged with forgery, you need legal representation right away. Retaining an attorney from the moment you are accused of forgery will help you manage the criminal process faster and easier. If you have been accused of forgery in NY, contact The Law Office of Stephan Siegel, Esq. Mr. Stephan Jacob Siegel has taken part in over 1200 New York trials over a 30-year time span and will strive to get you a favorable outcome.