Acts of fraud can be harshly punished in the state of California, including fraud involving vehicle registration. In fact, drivers that engage in this type of fraud may be prosecuted under California Vehicle Code Section 4463: Forging or Falsifying Vehicle Registration.
Get more information about the penalties for forging or falsifying a vehicle registration with the Simmrin Law Group. You can review the exact legal definition for VC 4463, similar charges, and some common legal defenses used to handle accusations of vehicle registration fraud.
Vehicle Registration Fraud: The Definition
Vehicle registration fraud covers a number of criminal acts in California. Individuals may be charged under VC 4463 if they intentionally alter or falsify:
- Vehicle Registration Certificate
- License Plates
- Registration Stickers
- Smog Certificates
Drivers may also face prosecution if they purposefully display or possess any of the aforementioned registration documents that are:
- Blank or Incomplete
- Suspended, Canceled, or Revoked
- Altered, Forged, Counterfeit, or False
Finally, attempting to convince others that a falsified, forged, or altered registration document is true or genuine can lead to criminal charges under VC 4463.
Vehicle Registration Fraud: The Penalties
Drivers who forge or falsify vehicle registration documents may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony in the court system in California. An individual’s criminal history and the details of the accusations may determine how charges are filed. Depending on the exact charge handed down, drivers may face:
Penalties for Misdemeanor Vehicle Registration Fraud
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to One Year
Penalties for Felony Vehicle Registration Fraud
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Jail Time: Up to Three Years
Driver’s License Penalties
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may choose to take action after a driver is convicted under VC 4463. Depending on the situation, the DMV can suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue a driver’s license based on a vehicle registration fraud conviction.
Vehicle Registration Fraud: Examples
Increase your understanding of vehicle VC 4463 charges by going over the following examples:
Man A is tired of paying for vehicle registration. He decides to take matters into his own hands and creates a replacement registration sticker with computer software. He places this forged sticker on his vehicle and hopes to pass unnoticed. If he is caught, he could be charged with forging a vehicle registration document.
Man B steals a car and realizes he needs to disguise the vehicle. He goes to a friend – Man C – who is known for his ability to alter license plates. Man B takes an altered license plate and drives off in his stolen car. He could be charged under VC 4463 and he could also face grand theft auto charges.
Vehicle Registration Fraud: Similar Charges
All instances of fraud are treated seriously in California. The court system can hand down harsh penalties for healthcare fraud, mortgage fraud, and auto insurance fraud, for example. There are also a number of additional charges used to handle falsehoods and fraudulent acts involving motor vehicles, such as:
- California Vehicle Code Section 20: Providing False Statements to the DMV or CHP
- California Vehicle Code Section 31: False Information to a Peace Officer
- California Vehicle Code Section 4461: Unlawful Use Of A Disability Placard
- California Vehicle Code Section 10501: Filing A False Auto Theft Report
A conviction for any of these charges can lead to fines and potential time behind bars.
Vehicle Registration Fraud: Legal Defenses
VC 4463 charges can lead to serious consequences. You can treat vehicle registration fraud accusations with the seriousness they deserve by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. A professional lawyer may be able to build a defense by showing that:
You Didn’t Intend to Commit Fraud
Individuals must purposefully forge or falsify registration documents to be convicted under VC 4463. If you gained possession of forged, altered, or falsified documents accidentally and with no intent to deceive anyone, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
The Evidence Against You Is Circumstantial
Circumstantial evidence can imply guilt, but it isn’t as obvious as direct evidence. A criminal defense lawyer can dig into the evidence the prosecution plans to use against you. If the evidence is weak enough, your lawyer may be able to get the VC 4463 charges you are facing dismissed.
Handle Vehicle Registration Fraud Charges Now
Get professional help handling California Vehicle Code Section 4463: Forging or Falsifying Vehicle Registration charges by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. Our criminal defense lawyers can go over your legal options once you complete our online contact form, or call (310) 896-2723.
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