It’s common for a person to assume that it’s not a huge deal if they provide false information the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The truth is that California considers it misdemeanor that can result in six months in county jail and fines of as much as $1,000. According to California Vehicle Code, it’s unlawful to use a false or fictitious name, to conceal any information on a document filed with the DMV or highway patrol, or to knowingly make false statements.
It’s possible for DMV false statements to be charged as felonies
While it’s almost always the case that a false statement to the DMV will be charged as a misdemeanor, there are some situations that can lead to felony charges. If what a person does can be considered perjury, which essentially means lying under oath, then they could be charged with felony perjury. That comes with between two and four years in prison and fines of as much as $10,000.
Related offenses are common
Another issue with giving false information to the DMV is that if it’s prosecuted, other charges are often brought. For example, California Vehicle Code makes it a misdemeanor to lie to the police. This includes giving the wrong address or birth date. If you falsely present yourself as someone else or a fake person to the police, then you’ve committed another misdemeanor.
It’s also illegal to intentional alter, falsify, or forge the registration on your vehicle, pink slips, or license plates. This is a wobbler offense, which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The misdemeanor charge could result in up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000 while a felony charge could land you three years in state prison and fines of as much as $10,000.
Finally, if a person files a false police report then they’ve also violated California Penal Code. This is a misdemeanor can result in six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. This includes filing a police report saying that your neighbor abused his wife when he didn’t, claiming your car was stolen when you actually loaned it to a friend who crashed it, or filing a report that someone vandalized your car.
Call our offices today for a no-cost consultation
If you’ve been accused of or arrested for any of the above crimes then you should contact a criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later. These are not charges you want to face on your own. Even if the initial charge is minor and it seems easier to just plead guilty and take the probation they’re offering, remember that charges could be added. Even if they aren’t, in the event that you’re arrested for a future crime you’ll have a criminal record that could make sentencing worse. The bottom line is that right now you can call Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 at no cost. Call us today.