Many parents in California let their minor children get behind the wheel as they learn to drive. In the majority of circumstances, this is completely legal. However, individuals can face charges under CA Penal Code Section 193.8(a): Relinquishing Possession of a Vehicle to a Minor in some situations.
PC 193.8(a) violations can lead to serious legal repercussions. Find out when PC 193.8(a) charges apply right here. The Simmrin Law Group can also help you learn more about legal defenses to relinquishing possession of a vehicle to a minor.
Relinquishing Possession of a Vehicle to a Minor: Definition
An adult who legally owns a vehicle in California may not give the vehicle to minor if the minor has no lawful right to the car’s possession AND:
- The Adult Knows – or Should Know – the Minor is Intoxicated OR
- The Minor was Convicted of Certain Crimes in the Past
Generally, adults are not permitted to relinquish possession of a vehicle to a minor previously convicted of violating:
- California Penal Code Section 191.5: Gross Vehicular Manslaughter
- California Penal Code Section 192.5: Vessel Manslaughter
- California Vehicle Code Section 23103: Reckless Driving
- California Vehicle Code Section 23140: Under 21 DUI with Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.05-0.07 Percent
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a): Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
- California Vehicle Code Section 23153: DUI Causing Injury
Giving a vehicle to a minor in these situations can result in serious criminal charges.
Relinquishing Possession of a Vehicle to a Minor: Examples
Use these examples to boost your understanding of PC 193.8(a) charges:
A woman knows her teenage son drank a beer. However, he and his friends are all hungry and she just got home from a long shift at work. She sends him out to buy pizzas with her vehicle, reasoning that he only has to drive a few blocks. She could be charged under PC 193.8(a).
A man falls off a ladder and breaks his leg. He panics and insists that his daughter drive him to the hospital right away, even though she was previously convicted of reckless driving. He may be able to avoid a PC 193.8(a) conviction by arguing that he had to allow her to drive.
Relinquishing Possession of a Vehicle to a Minor: Penalties
Individuals may face misdemeanor charges in California if they are convicted under PC 193.8(a). The maximum penalties for relinquishing possession of a vehicle to a minor can include:
- Fines of Up to $1,000
- Jail Time of up to Six Months
Judges may sometimes wave jail time and fines and assign individuals to misdemeanor probation, instead. Individuals who are granted probation must follow certain regulations handed down by the court. Failure to follow these rules can result in a probation violation and additional criminal charges.
Relinquishing Possession of a Vehicle to a Minor: Legal Defenses
A PC 193.8(a) accusation may not automatically lead to a conviction. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer may be able to build a strong defense for you if you are charged with relinquishing possession of a vehicle to a minor. Depending on your situation, your lawyer could work to show:
You Didn’t Know the Minor Was Intoxicated
Adults are not legally allowed to give a minor control of the vehicle if they know – or should know – that the minor is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, it can be very difficult to tell when someone has been drinking, especially because most adults don’t have the means to measure blood alcohol content (BAC). If you were unaware that the minor was intoxicated, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
You Had to Relinquish Possession to the Minor
In some emergency situations, you may have no choice but to give a minor possession of your vehicle. This may be because you need emergency medical care and cannot drive yourself to the hospital, for example.
You Relinquished Possession While the Minor was Working
PC 193.8(a) makes exceptions for adults to relinquish possession of their cars to minors who are working as parking attendants for different businesses. As long as the minor is working, you should not face charges under PC 193.8(a).
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Handle PC 193.8(a) Accusations
Dealing with CA Penal Code Section 193.8(a): Relinquishing Possession of a Vehicle to a Minor charge alone can be difficult. Get help by contacting the Simmrin Law Group now. You can speak to our criminal defense lawyers to get a FREE initial case evaluation.
Take charge of your future by completing our online contact form, or calling (310) 997-4688.