California Vehicle Code 21464 VC
VC 21464 – Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device
Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device – Table of Contents
- VC 21464 Overview
- VC 21464 Sentencing
- VC 21464 Prosecuting
- VC 21464 Defending
- Interfering with Traffic Control – Hire Us
Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device, CA Vehicle Code 21464 VC, is defined by the state as anyone who defaces, damages, attaches any material or substance to, knocks down or removes any official traffic control device, traffic guidepost, traffic signpost, motorist callbox or historical marker. Additionally, the statute prohibits the unauthorized using, buying, possessing, manufacturing, installing, selling, offering for sale or distributing any device that can send signals to interrupt or change the sequence of patterns of an official traffic control signal.
Traffic lights and other official traffic control devices are important to protect pedestrians, maintain safe roadways and the orderly flow of traffic. Moreover, significant time and resources are required when government property is vandalized or intentionally damaged. Certainly, the statute would not include accidental damage to a traffic control device (i.e., a traffic accident that knocks over a traffic light) because the statute is designed to punish anyone who intentionally damages, removes or interferes with the way a traffic control device operates.
Unlawful Use or Alteration of a License in California can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on whether the violation results in injury. If no injury occurs, a defendant convicted of VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device can be fined up to $5,000. The court, however, must allow the defendant to perform community service in lieu of all or part of the fine.
However, if injury or death occurs as a result of the violation, the conviction for VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The possible penalties include a fine between $5,000 and $10,000 and:
- for a misdemeanor conviction: custody in county jail for up to six months
- for a felony conviction: custody in state prison for up to three years.
In addition to being charged with violating VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device, a prosecutor can elect to charge you with other violations for the same incident. This is not only common, but another reason why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the charges. Your attorney can persuade the prosecutor to drop charges or negotiate a favorable plea bargain.
Other charges that could be filed in conjunction with VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device, include CA Penal Code 594 PC Malicious Mischief, which prohibits defacing, damaging or destroying government property. Charges under PC 594 can be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the case and any previous criminal convictions.
Damage to property totaling less than $400 with no prior convictions for vandalism can result in a misdemeanor conviction for PC 594 and can include the following sentence:
- up to one year in county jail and/or
- a fine up to $1,000.
Notably, for a third or more conviction for misdemeanor vandalism, the court can order a fine up to $5,000.
If the damage to property is $400 or greater with no prior convictions for vandalism, the prosecutor may seek a felony conviction for PC 594. In this case, the penalties are significantly harsher and can include:
- up to one year in county jail or probation up to one year and/or
- a fine up to $10,000 or up to $50,000 if the damage was greater than $10,000.
The judge can also order terms of probation instead of incarceration or a fine.
In order for a conviction for VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device, the prosecutor has the burden to prove every element of the crime. The prohibited acts under VC 21464 include:
- the defendant intentionally acts (also known as the actus reus) to deface, damage, attach any material or substance, knock down, remove, or shoot an official traffic control device such as a traffic light, traffic guidepost, traffic signpost, motorist callbox or historical marker
- the defendant uses, buys, possesses, manufactures, installs, sells, offers for sale or distributes a device such as a mobile infrared transmitter (MIRT) without authorization
A MIRT, or similar device, is used by authorized emergency vehicles and public buses and work to override traffic signals in order to pass an intersection quickly and safely. Unauthorized use of a MIRT, whether commercially manufactured or homemade, is prohibited under VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device.
Reviewing the facts and understanding the law is important for any criminal charge. An experienced criminal law attorney is necessary to help you navigate the complicated criminal justice system and obtain an acquittal or the most favorable outcome possible. An attorney can start advocating for you immediately after an arrest, which can result in charges being dropped. Moreover, an experienced criminal law attorney will protect your constitutional rights and ensure that proper procedures were followed by law enforcement.
Common defenses to VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device, include:
- the defendant did not intend the act; in other words, any defacing or interfering is accidental
- the act, even if intentional, did not result in any damage or interference
- the act was authorized.
If you or a loved one is being charged with VC 21464 Defacing or Interfering with a Traffic Control Device, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP.
Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529
Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.
What Our Clients Say
Very sharp and very detailed! Thanks Paul you're one of the best in the business and you set an excellent example of a good quality attorney that cares!- Erick Glover
Chris demonstrated both a compassionate ear as well as a logical, realistic approach to the issues that arose. He consistently responded quickly to both email and phone correspondence.- Bonnie Tova
Chris has handled my contentious divorce case for the last year. He has listened to me and guided me along the way through the court system. I highly highly recommend him.- P.K.
Chris Moore was always extremely diligent and 'on point' with me every step of the way. He was honest, respectful, straightforward, and very competent. He exceeded my expectations.- D.A.