Vehicle Code 42002.5 VC
VC 42002.5 – Tampering with the Vehicle of a Disabled Person
Tampering with the Vehicle of a Disabled Person – Table of Contents
- VC 42002.5 Overview
- VC 42002.5 Sentencing
- VC 42002.5 Prosecuting
- VC 42002.5 Defending
- Tampering with Vehicle of Disabled Person – Hire Us
Tampering with the Vehicle of a Disabled Person, CA Vehicle Code 42002.5 VC, is defined by the state as prohibiting the tampering with, vandalizing or manipulating of a vehicle that has been modified for the use of a disabled person and that displays a special identification license plate or distinguishing placard.
Certainly, efforts are made to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise independence and not be hindered on the roadways. As such, there are many examples of reasonable accommodations that provide some assistance to those who many need it in order to go about their daily life. Similarly, anyone who intentionally acts in a way that interferes with the mobility of a disabled person will most likely face increased penalties.
Notably, VC 42005.5, Tampering with the Vehicle of a Disabled Person, is a good example of how complicated statutes can be, particularly when the statute references other statutes. As a result, retaining an experienced defense attorney is important to understand the charges and prepare a defense. For example, VC 42002.5 refers to six other sections of the Vehicle Code, and understanding each section is necessary to fully understand a charge under VC 42002.5 and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case. Moreover, a conviction for violating VC 42002.5 requires a conviction for violating either VC 10852, Tampering with a Vehicle, or VC 10853, Malicious Mischief to a Vehicle.
Tampering with the Vehicle of a Disabled Person under California law is a misdemeanor. As such, the possible punishments include:
- custody in county jail for not more than one year and/or
- a fine up to $2,000.
As mentioned, VC 42002.5 references other statues, and specifically requires a conviction for either VC 10852 or VC 10853. A violation under CA Vehicle Code 10852 VC, Tampering with a Vehicle, occurs when a person breaks, injures, tampers with or removes a part of a vehicle. A violation under CA Vehicle Code 10853 VC, Malicious Mischief to a Vehicle, is defined as anyone who causes damage to a vehicle as the result of malicious mischief and includes climbing on, manipulating brakes or other mechanisms, or setting a parked vehicle in motion. A conviction for either will trigger a charge under VC 42005.5 if the vehicle has been modified for use of a disabled person and has a special identification license plate or distinguishing placard.
A conviction for VC 42002.5 will require the prosecutor to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the prosecutor will have to prove the following:
- a conviction for VC 10852 or VC 10853
- the vehicle has been modified for use of a disabled person
- the vehicle has a special identification license plate or distinguishing placard
- the defendant knew or should have reasonably known that the vehicle has been modified for use of a disabled person.
As mentioned, VC 42002.5, Tampering with a Vehicle of a Disabled Person, is premised on a violation of VC 10852, Tampering with a Vehicle or VC 10853, Malicious Mischief to a Vehicle. Therefore, since the statute requires a conviction under either, if an experienced defense attorney can successfully convince the prosecutor to drop the underlying charges, then the charge under VC 42002.5 must also be dropped. This is an example of how important an attorney can be, and how a successful defense attorney can resolve a case by pointing out the weaknesses of a case to the prosecutor and argue for the charges to be dropped.
Similarly, an experienced defense attorney could negotiate a favorable plea bargain. For example, in this case, a good result could be to plead guilty to one charge of either VC 10852 or VC 10853 in exchange for the prosecutor dropping all other charges including VC 42002.5, and thereby avoiding a trial and saving time and money.
With that said, there may be strong defenses based on the facts. Possible defenses for VC 42002.5 include:
- did not know the vehicle has been modified for use of a disabled person
- there was no special identification license plate or distinguishing placard.
If you or a loved one is being charged with VC 42002.5, Tampering with the Vehicle of a Disabled Person, 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. We can provide a free consultation in our office located in Century City, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.
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Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.
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