Whether you are trying to save a little extra cash or just don’t want to deal with the DMV, at some point, you might be tempted to counterfeit your license registration sticker or paperwork rather than properly registering your car with the state and getting official tags. Unfortunately, what seems like a quick way to save some money and hassle can easily result in felony criminal charges that carry up to three years worth of prison time. If you are accused of using fraudulent vehicle registration tags or documents, it is critical you immediately contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help you fight these serious charges.
Vehicle Registration Fraud in California
Under state law, falsifying, forging or counterfeiting vehicle registration stickers, license plates or registration documents is an act of fraud. While that sounds pretty straight forward, there are many ways to violate this law, many of which might not even seem that serious.
For example, if you misrepresent the year of your vehicle so you can get around smog laws, you could be charged with car registration fraud. It is similarly illegal to understate the value of your vehicle when registering it so you can avoid taxes. It is also against the law to register your car in another state, despite living in California, just so you can avoid paying California registration fees and taxes. Similarly, stealing registration stickers from another vehicle is also considered a form of fraudulent vehicle registration.
Most people are charged with DMV fraud for having a registration sticker not matching the vehicle. This means that even if you have confused two cars you own by having the registration switched, it can be interpreted as fraud.
Fighting Fraudulent Registration Charges
If you have been caught doing any of these activities, you may be tempted to believe that they are not that serious and that you cannot end up in any real trouble. Unfortunately, this sort of thinking is dangerous and if you do not contact San Diego fraudulent vehicle registration stickers attorney as soon as possible to start building a strong case on your behalf, you may end up facing serious penalties later on including prison time.
There are strong defenses against this crime though, most notably, if you did not mean to act in a fraudulent manner, you cannot be convicted of vehicle registration fraud. These types of cases are unique in that they require the prosecution to prove you had the intent to deceive and good defense attorneys can help prove that was not your intent.
No matter what the specifics of your crime, San Diego fraudulent vehicle registration stickers lawyer Peter M. Liss can help you fight charges involving fraudulent vehicle registration. If you have been accused of this serious crime, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.