This bill has been amended

Bill S2510-2011

Provides that it shall be unlawful to install or possess a concealed vehicular compartment

Establishes the offense of obstruction of governmental duties by means of a bomb, destructive device, explosive, or hazardous substance, a class D felony.

Details

Actions

  • Apr 11, 2011: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Apr 6, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Apr 5, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.307
  • Jan 24, 2011: REFERRED TO CODES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Codes - Apr 5, 2011
Ayes (7): Saland, DeFrancisco, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Golden, Gianaris, Espaillat
Ayes W/R (3): O'Mara, Duane, Perkins
Nays (3): Lanza, Nozzolio, Parker
Excused (3): Flanagan, Huntley, Squadron

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2510

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to unlawfully installing or possessing a concealed vehicular compartment

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would amend the penal law by adding two new sections, 270.40 and 270.45, defining the crimes of unlawfully installing or possessing a concealed vehicular compartment in the first and second degree. The penalty for the first degree offense would be a class E felony and the second degree offense would be a class A misdemeanor. It would also amend subdivision one of Section 398-e of the vehicle and traffic law to permit the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to suspend or revoke the registration of a motor vehicle repair shop where an owner or employee is found guilty of such crimes.

JUSTIFICATION: Law enforcement personnel nationwide was well as within New York State have witnessed a surge in the number of hidden compartments found in motor vehicles. With the advent of advanced electronics, these concealed compartments have become ever more difficult to find. They are often opened only by pressing various control buttons already in the vehicle in a sequence only known to the owner. The compartments ordinarily have no legitimate purpose and are utilized exclusively to evade detection by law enforcement officers investigating drug and gun trafficking among other crimes. Secret vehicle compartments are used to transport weapons and controlled substances, and even to smuggle human beings- there have even been instances of individuals being hidden in compartments built into dashboards, under floor boards and even inside car seats.

An even more disturbing phenomenon is the fact that these secret compartments are sometimes "booby-trapped" causing serious risk to law enforcement officers seeking to locate and access them by overriding the control sequence or otherwise breaking them open.

There is a substantial profit motive for creating such compartments; unscrupulous installers currently charge up to $10,000 for installation of a secret compartment in a vehicle, with full knowledge of the illegal purposes for which it will be used. For that reason, the proposed bill seeks to deter such conduct by subjecting the registration of a motor vehicle repair shop to suspension or revocation if it is found to have knowingly engaged in this practice.

The enactment of this legislation will increase public safety and protect law enforcement personnel investigating illegal trafficking by making both the persons who install these compartments with the knowledge of their proposed illegal use and the traffickers who use them accountable.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2510 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 24, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GIANARIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to unlawfully installing or possessing a concealed vehicular compartment THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding two new sections 270.40 and 270.45 to read as follows: S 270.40 UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN THE SECOND DEGREE. 1. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN THE SECOND DEGREE WHEN SUCH PERSON KNOWINGLY: (A) OWNS, OPERATES OR POSSESSES A VEHICLE CONTAINING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT; OR (B) DESIGNS, INSTALLS, FABRICATES OR CREATES A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN A VEHICLE. 2. AS USED IN THIS SECTION "CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT" MEANS A HIDDEN OR CONCEALED ENCLOSURE OR COMPARTMENT INTEGRATED INTO A VEHICLE THAT IS INTENDED OR DESIGNED TO BE USED TO TRANSPORT, CONCEAL, HIDE OR PREVENT DISCOVERY BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OF PROPERTY POSSESSED IN VIOLATION OF LAW, PROPERTY USED OR INTENDED FOR USE IN THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME OR OF PERSONS IN VIOLATION OF LAW. 3. THERE SHALL BE A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION THAT A HIDDEN OR CONCEALED ENCLOSURE OR COMPARTMENT INTEGRATED INTO A VEHICLE IS INTENDED OR DESIGNED TO BE USED TO TRANSPORT, CONCEAL, HIDE OR PREVENT DISCOVERY BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OF PROPERTY POSSESSED IN VIOLATION OF LAW, PROPERTY USED OR INTENDED FOR USE IN THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME OR OF PERSONS IN VIOLATION OF LAW WHEN THERE ARE FACTORS FROM WHICH SUCH INTENT OR DESIGN MAY REASONABLY BE INFERRED INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
THE DISCOVERY OF A PERSON, FIREARM, CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE OR OTHER CONTRABAND WITHIN SUCH COMPARTMENT OR THE DISCOVERY OF EVIDENCE OF THE PREVIOUS PLACEMENT OF A PERSON, FIREARM, CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE OR OTHER CONTRABAND WITHIN SUCH COMPARTMENT. UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN THE SECOND DEGREE IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. S 270.45 UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN THE FIRST DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN THE FIRST DEGREE WHEN SUCH PERSON COMMITS THE CRIME OF UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN THE SECOND DEGREE AND: 1. SUCH CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT OR THE VEHICLE IN WHICH IT IS INSTALLED IS EQUIPPED WITH AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE OR OTHERWISE CREATES OR IS DESIGNED TO CREATE A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF PHYSICAL INJURY TO A PERSON WHO ATTEMPTS UNWELCOME ACCESS OF SUCH COMPARTMENT; OR 2. SUCH CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IS USED IN THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME OR TO CONCEAL EVIDENCE OF A CRIME. UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN THE FIRST DEGREE IS A CLASS E FELONY. S 2. Paragraphs (j) and (k) of subdivision 1 of section 398-e of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 634 of the laws of 1980, are amended and a new paragraph (l) is added to read as follows: (j) has knowingly issued a false or misleading estimate; [or] (k) has engaged in a course of conduct which unreasonably impedes or delays a consumer's right to a fair recovery pursuant to the provisions of an automobile insurance policy, the insurance law or regulations issued by the superintendent of insurance governing the evaluation and adjustments of claims; OR (L) HAS BEEN GUILTY OF UNLAWFULLY INSTALLING OR POSSESSING A CONCEALED VEHICULAR COMPARTMENT IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 270.40 OF THE PENAL LAW. S 3. The closing paragraph of subdivision 1 of section 398-e of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 634 of the laws of 1980, is amended to read as follows: For the purposes of paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (j) [and], (k) AND (L) of this subdivision, it shall be presumed that the actions of any employee of a motor vehicle repair shop shall be attributable to, and deemed to be the actions of, such motor vehicle repair shop. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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