NYC Law Enforcement Vow to Crackdown on Fake License Plates

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the Plate Task Force, which has been colloquially named the “ghostbusters,” to crack down on drivers of “ghost cars” in the city. A ghost car is equipped with a fake license plate, including either fabricated metal plates or falsified paper plates. Members of multiple NYC law enforcement departments and transportation agencies make up the task force, which conducts monthly deployments to identify fake license plates using specialized electronic equipment.

The NYPD has announced that the Plate Task Force’s work has already led to:

  • 282 summons for license plate violations
  • 73 vehicle seizures
  • 8 arrests

(You can learn more about the new Plate Task Force of NYC by clicking here and reading a full article from The Gothamist.)

What Happens If Someone is Convicted of Having Fake Plates?

Although not everyone who has been caught using fake license plates by the NYC Plate Task Force has been charged with a crime yet – and some may only face infractions or fines – some may face serious charges. Falsifying, counterfeiting, or obstructing a license plate in New York, or creating and selling falsified license plates, can be charged as a class E felony.

Conviction penalties for a class E felony in New York can include:

  • Up to 4-years imprisonment; and/or,
  • $5,000 in fines, or double the amount gained through any criminal activities related to the use or sale of falsified license plates, whichever is greater.

A criminal conviction for the use of fake license plates on “ghost cars” in NYC will also likely be accompanied by administrative penalties from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV). Administrative penalties could include the immediate revocation of the suspect’s driver's license, which can be upheld even if they are never charged and tried for a crime. If the driver’s license is not revoked, it could be suspended and the driver could be ticketed instead.

Defenses Against Fake License Plate Accusations & Charges

If the NYC Plate Task Force accuses you of using a fake license plate, you should stand up for yourself, your rights, and your driving privileges. No matter what happened, you could have options to share your side of the story, defend yourself, and fight to avoid the worst penalties that the state could try to use against you.

At Gannes & Musico, LLP, we are proud to be the law firm that New Yorkers know for strong and creative defense strategies against all sorts of traffic violations and related criminal offenses. This is what our legal team has focused on for more than 30 collective years of practice, and we’ve earned a long history of case successes along the way. Call (877) 803-2603 now if you were accused of using a fake license plate or driving a “ghost car” in New York City and schedule an initial consultation.

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