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The penalties of auto theft

New York residents may not always consider the penalties for stealing a car. It is important to understand the consequences of this crime.

Some people may think that when a person steals a car, he or she wants the entire vehicle. Esurance Insurance Services says that sometimes people want car parts instead of the car itself. This is because parts can be sold to repair shops at reduced prices. It is important to remember that stealing car parts is also considered a crime.

According to FindLaw, the penalty for stealing someone's property depends on monetary value and there are four degrees of severity. Someone who steals property that is worth between $1,000 and $3,000 may be imprisoned for up to four years if the offense is his or her first. A person might be sentenced to seven years of imprisonment if he or she illegally takes property worth up to $50,000. People can be charged with second degree grand larceny if the property they take is worth between $50,000 and $1 million. The penalty for this is usually a prison sentence of up to 15 years. First degree grand larceny is the most serious theft charge. Someone might be charged with this if he or she steals property worth more than $1 million. The penalty for first degree grand larceny is usually a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

Because the value of a stolen item determines the penalty, someone can be charged with larceny if he or she steals hubcaps instead of the entire car. In some situations, a person may not be imprisoned. Some people may be able to perform community service or pay a fine. Others may be able to go on probation.


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