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Tampering with VIN in West Covina

Defending Serious California Vehicle Offenses

There are two laws in the state of California which criminalize the intentional or knowing destruction of a vehicle identification number (VIN). Primarily, acts of alteration or destruction of a VIN are considered a misdemeanor in the state of California, which can lead to serious consequences if a conviction is reached.

Have you been charged with an act of tampering with or altering a VIN number? You should act quickly to retain the services of an West Covina vehicle offense attorney from Coimbra Law Firm, who can protect you against California prosecutor's attempts to convict you.

How Is Tampering with VIN Charged?

Primarily, prosecutors claim that VINs have been tampered with or altered to either misrepresent or hide the identity vehicle or particular part of the vehicle or sell or transfer title of the car. In some cases, violations of this law can be considered a wobbler, which means that the prosecutor has the discretion to file as a misdemeanor or a felony, if there are additional factors involved or if you have a criminal record.

The consequences you could face include the following:

  • As a misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
  • As a felony: Up to 2-3 years in county jail and a fine of $25,000

Additionally, this charge is often added onto charges of operating a chop shop or possession of multiple vehicles or parts with altered VINs. If these additional charges are involved, you will need to consider even more seriously the importance of hiring an West Covina criminal defense attorney. The more evidence the prosecution has, the more important it is to have legal representation on your side.

Defense Strategies for Charges of Altering a VIN

Our award-winning trial attorneys are experienced and adept in structuring effectual defenses that ensure our clients their best outcome. We want our clients to understand the charges you could be facing, as well as how we can help.

Possible defenses include but are not limited to the arguments listed below:

  • Accidental defacement
  • You were only trying to hide the vehicle’s identification and you didn’t change the VIN
  • The VIN in question was previously altered before it was in your possession.
  • Your intentions of altering the VIN did not include the sale of the vehicle
  • Police discovery ensued under a violated California Search and Seizure Law

Have more questions? Contact our West Covina criminal defense lawyers anytime at (626) 205-3794. We are always happy to discuss your case with you free of cost.

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