The statute that covers the removal or altering a vehicle identification number may be charged at different levels. This is based on the particular circumstances of the case. Many NJ laws are charged at different levels.
Under the statute Motor Vehicles; Removal or Alteration of Identification Number of Mark (N.J.S.A. 2C:17-6(a)), you can be charged with a third degree crime. This is a felony level offense, for the following conduct:
- A person who removes, defaces, alters, changes, destroys, covers or obliterates any trademark, distinguishing or identification number, serial number or mark on or from any motor vehicle for an unlawful purpose, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
The types of scenarios may include something like selling a car that has previously been in an accident.
Someone may also try to sell a vehicle that was damaged in a flood.
Perhaps the seller wants to prevent potential buyers from discovering the vehicle’s history.
By removing or altering a vehicle identification number or marks, the vehicle’s history can be obscured. This means that fraud can be suspected against a potential buyer.
Car theft rings may also employ these techniques to hide the provenance of a stolen vehicle or parts from one.
Criminal Defense Attorney For Removal Or Altering A Vehicle Identification Number In New Jersey
As a third degree crime, your potential penalties for removing or altering a VIN number are serious.
You may face a prison sentence of three to five years. Someone found guilty could also receive fines of up to $15,000.
You may also be required to pay restitution. Someone could also face civil litigation if the conduct in question was part of a scheme to defraud others.
You’re in a very dangerous situation that can impact the rest of your life. Get experienced help.
Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 for a free consultation with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney.