Law Against Tampering with a Vehicle
You probably already know that it is illegal to break into or steal a car, but did you know that it is also illegal to tamper with a vehicle? If a person tampers or breaks a car without the consent of the car’s owner, that is a punishable offense. People cannot just enter cars (or other vehicles) and tamper with them or their contents. A person found guilty of this offense can face a misdemeanor. If you have been arrested or charged with this crime, you should seek the immediate counsel of one of our experienced criminal attorneys.
What is Tampering with a Vehicle?
If you have been charged with this crime and have to go to court, know that the prosecutor must prove several elements (beyond a reasonable doubt) in order for you to be found guilty. The most important aspect is that a defendant must have committed the act willfully. This means that the defendant tampered with the vehicle on purpose. Furthermore, the prosecution must prove one of the following two elements: the defendant tampered or damaged the vehicle; the defendant broke or removed parts of the vehicle. This means that breaking into a car and removing its contents can also be considered tampering with a vehicle. Moreover, the necessary aforementioned elements must have occurred while the defendant did not have the vehicle owner’s consent to commit said actions.
Penalties for the Crime
Tampering with a vehicle can often occur alongside other offenses. For example, in order to tamper with a vehicle, a person may have to first break into it and can also possibly steal it. Therefore, the tampering offense can be compounded with other charges. However, those found guilty of just tampering with a vehicle face a misdemeanor that can require up to a year in county jail.