CA Vehicle Code 10852 VC
VC 10852 – Tampering with A Vehicle
Tampering with A Vehicle – Table of Contents
What is the definition of tampering with a vehicle under VC 10852?
It is unlawful for a person or in a group to willfully, injure or tamper with a vehicle or its contents or remove any part of it without the consent of the owner.
What is the definition of injuring and tampering under VC 10852?
Injury can mimic stripping, breaking or removing various parts of a vehicle. The most accepted definition of tampering is to interfere with the function of the vehicle.
What about the definition of willful under VC 10852?
The definition of willful is purposeful. The conduct must have the intent to specifically injure or tamper with a vehicle.
What about the contents and parts being removed from the vehicle is there a more specific definition under Vehicle Code 10852 VC?
Simply shuffling the contents from their current position inside a vehicle with no felonious purpose to permanently deprive is sufficient.
Does the vehicle need to be in the control of the owner, or in the vicinity of the owner for a violation of Vehicle Code 10852 VC?
No, the vehicle can be in the constructive control of another person with authorization.
What are the penalties associated for a violation of Vehicle Code VC Section 10852?
A conviction for a violation of Vehicle Code 10852 VC is a misdemeanor. The penalty is jail time up to 1 year. And fines upwards to $1000 dollars as a misdemeanor.
What are examples of violations of Vehicle Code 10852 VC?
- Todd, is an employee of a car dealership at an exotic car reseller. The latest version of a Ferrari came into the store for pick up by a famous actor. The owner told Todd not to mess with the car. Todd did not take the request seriously and opened the door during his lunch break and sat in the driver’s seat causing the camel skin leather to smear. The new buyer was not happy and called the police. The owner of the dealership offered to clean the seat, but the buyer refused because the car cost $1.2 million. Todd was arrested.
- James while walking to his car saw a motorcycle with a flat tire on the side of the road. James went to the motorcycle and opened a compartment looking inside but did not take anything. At the same time the owner of the motorcycle and his older brother arrived to repair the flat, while at the same time seeing what James did. They called the police. Although nothing was in the compartment, James was arrested.
- Jenna and her boyfriend had a fight in front of his friends. He called her fat. She ran outside and ripped off his license plate damaging the license plate holder and threw the plate in the gutter outside his apartment. He called the police. She was arrested.
- Gary, after boxing class walks outside and while walking runs into the side mirror of a nearby car unhinging the mirror. Gary feeling that no one saw what he did, immediately got into his car drove to a store, buys super glue and re attaches the mirror to the vehicle and drives home. What Gary did not realize is that his restoration attempt was captured on video. After an investigation, the owner decides to press charges. Gary is sent a notice to appear and is charged.
What are defenses against a violation of Vehicle Code 10852 VC?
- Negligent Entrust/Frolic- The car now it was entered was on a frolic past the owner’s authorization and the party who frolic is liable.
- Mistake in Law/Lack of verified ownership- the party pressing charges is not the lawful owner of the vehicle entered or the object taken.
- Reclaiming property rights in the vehicle.
If you are charged with tampering or injuring a vehicle under Vehicle Code 10852 VC, call The Esfandi Law Group.
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