Most drivers in California require gasoline to operate their motor vehicles. Gasoline must be unadulterated and safe to use in order for vehicles to operate safely. For this reason, businesses are expected to provide accurate information about the gasoline they sell.
Businesses that are dishonest about gasoline sales can be prosecuted under California Business and Professions Code Section 13413: False Statement Regarding Gasoline. The Simmrin Law Group can help you find out more about this criminal charge right here.
False Statements Regarding Gasoline: Definition in California
BPC 13413 provides a very specific definition of false statements regarding gasoline. Both businesses and individuals may be charged under BPC 13413 if they make a misleading, deceptive, or false statement about gasoline’s:
Charges can also be brought for misleading or false statements regarding discounts or savings for the purchase of gasoline. More specifically, BPC 13413 charges can apply if a business or individual:
- Misleads Consumers Regarding the Price, Grade, or Brand of Gasoline
- Does Not Sell Gasoline Products as Advertised
- Advertises Gasoline Products That They Aren’t Selling
- Converts Advertisements for Other Products into Advertisements for Gasoline
- Uses Multiple Prices for One Grade of Gasoline Without Advertising All Price Levels
- Fails to Offer an Advertised Discount or Rebate for Gasoline Sales
The sale of gasoline products can also require certain documents and records. Businesses and individuals that falsify or forge these records or documents may also be prosecuted under BPC 13413 in the state of California.
False Statements Regarding Gasoline: Examples
You can build up your understanding of BPC 13413 charges with the following examples:
Man A runs a local gas station. Like most gas stations, he advertises multiple grades of gasoline for sale. However, he actually only sells “regular” gasoline, just at different prices. His customers eventually grow suspicious and report him. He could be convicted under BPC 13413.
Man B sells regular gasoline for 10 cents a gallon cheaper if customers pay with cash. However, he does not make this price difference clear on any of his advertising materials. Customers who pay with credit become angry at their higher bills. He could be prosecuted for false statements regarding gasoline.
Man C claims that he sells biodiesel fuel in his pumps. However, he’s only selling regular diesel to drivers. This misrepresentation could lead to BPC 13413 charges.
False Statements Regarding Gasoline: Similar Charges
There are a number of other criminal charges tied to the sale of goods and products in California. Individuals or businesses could face prosecution for:
- California Business & Professions Code Section 12024: Selling Short Quantity
- California Business & Professions Code Section 12024.1: Misrepresentation of Charge for Service
- California Business & Professions Code Section 13532(a): False Advertising Regarding Gasoline
- California Business & Professions Code Section 17500: Making False Or Misleading Statements In Advertising
The acts prosecuted by these charges are often considered a type of theft in the state of California.
False Statements Regarding Gasoline: Penalties for a Conviction
California’s court system treats false statements regarding gasoline as a misdemeanor-level offense. Generally, individuals and businesses convicted under BPC 13413 may be subjected to fines and a jail sentence of up to six months.
In some cases, individuals may be sentenced to probation instead of jail time in the state of California for misdemeanor offenses.
False Statements Regarding Gasoline: Common Legal Defenses
You may be able to build a defense if you are accused of making false statements regarding gasoline in California. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you construct your case. After going over your specific situation, a lawyer could argue that:
You Did Not Make False Statements Regarding Gasoline
Sometimes, customers may be confused by advertisements regarding gasoline. However, as long as your advertisements met the standards for clarity demanded by the state, you should not face BPC 13413 charges.
You Ran Out of a Gasoline Product You Advertised
Businesses may run out of gasoline products that they advertised. If you intended to sell the products you advertised and merely ran out, you could avoid a conviction under BPC 13413.
Get Help from a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
California Business and Professions Code Section 13413: False Statement Regarding Gasoline charges may lead to fines and jail time. Make sure you are ready to handle these charges the right way by contacting the Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles. You can reach us by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 896-2723.
Begin working on your defense today with a FREE initial case evaluation.