If you have been charged with altering a VIN in the state of California, you may think that this is nothing but a minor charge. Unfortunately, that is not true. You may assume that there is not much that can be done to defend yourself. The good news is that this is false. Keep reading to find out about defense options for a charge of altering a VIN and then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 if you need a free legal consultation.
Learn What You Could Be Facing
First, let us discuss what you could end up facing if you are convicted of deliberately altering a VIN: Up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. This is not the worst-case scenario – if the prosecution accuses and convicts you have altering the VIN in an effort to conceal the identity of the vehicle before selling it, you could face a felony charge that comes with up to three years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines.
Defense Option 1: Someone Else Altered the VIN
While the prosecution may easily be able to show that the VIN was altered, it is much more challenging to prove that you are the one who altered it. We may work to show that the VIN could have been altered by anyone and that it may even have been altered before you took possession of the vehicle.
Defense Option 2: You Defaced the VIN but It Was an Accident
In order to be convicted, the prosecution must show not only that you altered the VIN but that you did so on purpose and in order to defraud someone. If they cannot prove that then they do not have a case Your criminal defense attorney can show that while it may be true that you altered the VIN, you did so either accidentally or with no intention to defraud anyone.
Defense Option 3: The Altered VIN Was Discovered During an Illegal Search and Seizure
You are not the only person who is required to follow the law – so are the police. If they illegally searched your property and / or did not correctly handle evidence once they obtained it, then that evidence should be inadmissible. We can work to prove that this is the case – which could result in the charges being dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Call Us Now to Find the Best Defense for Your Case
These are just a few of the potential defense options for a charge of altering a VIN. If you are facing this charge, we urge you to contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation. After learning the specifics of your case, we can help you find the best defense possible.