People who alter or remove the identifying marks on motor vehicles for an unlawful purpose are committing a crime in New Jersey.
But under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-6(b), Motor Vehicles; Removal or Alteration of Identification Number or Mark, people who knowingly possess such vehicles, or parts from them, for an unlawful purpose are also committing a crime.
If your goal is to offload stolen property and you’re trafficking in auto parts, 2C:17-6(b) might apply to you.
Penalties for conviction can be quite serious.
Technically, the charge is graded according to the value of the goods, but the state has chosen to set the amounts at such a low level that it’s very easy to end up facing a third degree felony charge.
In fact, if you are found to be in possession of an altered vehicle or automotive parts from one that have a value greater than $500, you can go to prison for three to five years, and face fines of up to $15,000.
If the property in question is valued at less than $500 but more than $200, you’ll still face a felony charge, but one of the fourth degree.
Penalties for conviction of removing or altering a vehicle identification number include a prison sentence of up to 18 months and fines of up to $10,000.
For property valued at less than $200, you’ll be charged with a disorderly persons offense, comparable to a misdemeanor in other states, and you may spend up to six months in jail and pay $1,000 in fines.
The best outcome is not being convicted, and the best way to try to achieve that is to work with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
Matthew Reisig has protected people’s rights and liberty in New Jersey for nearly 20 years. Call 732-625-9661 today for a free consultation.