Being accused of stealing a car or another type of vehicle in New York is obviously very serious, and it should not be taken lightly. If found guilty, you will be charged with grand larceny resulting in a felony. This means that you could serve between one and 25 years in prison, depending on the value of the property you stole and your prior convictions.

If you want to do what you can to avoid facing a sentence like this, you must build up a strong defense. By explaining the situation in full, you may be able to show that you were not guilty of grand larceny. The following are three possible defenses.

Consent

You may have been accused of stealing a car when you actually had permission to use it. For example, if your friend allowed you to borrow your car for a certain amount of time, you were not engaging in theft when you temporarily took possession of it.

Last of intent

You may have been driving in a car that you did not realize was stolen. For example, if you bought a car that was initially stolen, this does not mean that you were involved in the theft.

Mistake of fact

Perhaps you believed that the car you were driving was your own car or your friend’s car. If this was the case, you could argue that you had a mistaken belief, and therefore, that you cannot be charged with theft.

Building a strong defense is crucial if you have been accused of auto theft in New York. You should understand the steps necessary to make your defense a strong one.