For people in New York City, relying on taxi cabs is a typical part of daily life. While taking a taxi from one place of the city to the other can be expensive, most people believe that they are paying a fair amount for the service. However, there are situation in which a driver could use a taximeter accelerating device to increase the charges. If this is the case, the driver could be in violation of New York Penal Law § 145.70, which is criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device.
In the state of New York, it is against the law to tamper with the standard taximeter in any way. To make additional money, somebody could add an accelerator to it, which could make the taxi fare more expensive for unsuspecting riders. Those that are found guilty of this crime could face some serious penalties.
In order to be charged and convicted of criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device, you will need to meet simple criteria. First, you will need to possess both a taximeter as well as the accelerating device. This device will need to be able to increase the amount of money that a paying customer could be charged. Since it can be hard to catch someone in the act with this device, simply possessing it could be enough to be charged as it is easily presumed that you intended to use it unlawfully.
Example of Crime
One common example of criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device is when someone gets into a cab and finds that their fare is much higher than what it normally is. If you were to take a cab fare on a daily basis and suddenly see a charge that is noticeably higher, it could be due to a taximeter accelerator. However, if there is bad weather or traffic that causes delays, it could also be the cause of the increased fare. If someone was to report the driver to the police, an investigation could take place. If the driver is then cause with the accelerator, they could be found guilty of criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device.
The criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device crime is a misdemeanor and is similar to petit larceny.
Defense of Crime
If you are charged with criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device, there are a few ways that you can defend it. Simply possessing the accelerator, even if you do not use it, is technically a crime. However, there are situations in which you could possess it for lawful reasons. If you are able to prove that you held the accelerator for lawful purposes, the charges may be dropped entirely.
Being charged with criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device is a misdemeanor that needs to be taken seriously. In most situations, those that are charged with criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device will end up receiving probation for up to three years. However, the judge does have the right to sentence you to prison for up to one year. Prison sentences are typically only given to repeat violators or those that have clearly be using the accelerator for a long time. Repeat violators could also face financial penalties and the loss of the right to operate a taxi. This could have a major impact on someone’s ability to earn a living.
If you have been charged with criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device or a similar crime, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorney will be knowledgeable about the crime and charge and could create a defense strategy that could allow you to fight the charges.