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New York Penal Law § 145.70: Criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device

A taximeter is a device used in cabs that keeps track of distance traveled and the corresponding fare. The amount that a cab driver can charge a passenger per mile is regulated and taximeters are calibrated accordingly. It is against the law to tamper with a taximeter in a manner that causes it to record a higher fare than allowed by law. One way to unlawfully increase a fare is to use a taximeter accelerating device. In New York Penal Law § 145.70(1) a taximeter accelerating device is defined as a device that causes a taximeter to charge a fare higher than that which is permitted by local law. Under New York Penal Law § 145.70 it is against the law to possess a taximeter accelerating device.

Example

Joan jumped into a cab and directed the driver to take her uptown. Joan travels this route in a cab at least 4 times a week, so she knows approximately what the fare should be. On this trip the fare was $6 more than it usually is. Joan questioned the driver. He just pointed to the fare and asked for the money. Joan paid the fair, but reported the driver. If it is determined that the driver is in possession of a taximeter accelerating device then he could be prosecuted for criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device.

Related Offenses
  1. Petit larceny: New York Penal Code § 155.25
Defenses

A defense to a charge of criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device is that it you did not have it for an unlawful reason. Under New York Penal Code § 140.70, there is a presumption that if you possess such a device you do so with the intent to use it for an unlawful reason. However, if you can produce evidence that will show that you had it for a lawful reason, then you may have a valid defense against such a charge.

Sentence

Criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device is a Class A misdemeanor. While if you are convicted the judge could sentenced you to a probation term of 3 years, the judge could also sentence you to a jail term of up to 1 year.

New York Penal Law § 145.70: Criminal Possession of a Taximeter Accelerating Device
  1. For purposes of this section, a "taximeter" means an instrument or device that automatically calculates and displays the charge to a passenger in a vehicle that is licensed to transport members of the public for hire pursuant to local law.

  2. For purposes of this section, a "taximeter accelerating device" means an instrument or device that causes a taximeter to increase the charge displayed by such taximeter to an amount greater than the maximum amount permitted by local law.

  3. A person is guilty of criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device when he knowingly possesses, with intent to use unlawfully, a taximeter accelerating device. If such a device is knowingly possessed there is a rebuttable presumption that it is intended to be used unlawfully.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The crime if criminal possession of a taximeter accelerating device is a misdemeanor. However, if you are convicted you could end up in jail for up to a year. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with criminal mischief as well as other felonies and misdemeanors such as grand larceny, burglary, and assault. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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