California Vehicle Code Section 10752 Vc: Illegal Possession/Sale Of A Vehicle Identification Number

illegal possession of vehicle identification number1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Auto theft is a major problem that continually plagues law enforcement agencies. There is strong black market demand for stolen vehicles and thus many individuals and organizations are involved in the theft, acquisition and resale of stolen vehicles and parts. Automobile theft can include a number of different illegal acts. One of these involves the illegal sale and/or possession of a stolen or fraudulent vehicle identification number. Under California Vehicle Code Section 10752 VC, illegal possession/sale of a vehicle identification number is a serious criminal offense that can result in lengthy prison sentences for those convicted.

To prove a defendant is guilty of illegal possession/sale of a vehicle identification number, a prosecutor must be able to establish the following elements:

  1. The defendant offered for sale a genuine or counterfeit manufacturer’s serial or identification number.
  2. AND the defendant did so with the intent to prejudice, damage, injure or defraud another person.
2. Related Offenses

Other similar or related offenses include:

  1. Grand Theft Auto – California Penal Code Section 487(d)(1) PC
  2. Owning or Operating a Chop Shop – California Vehicle Code Section 10801 VC
  3. Altering a Vehicle Identification Mark – California Vehicle Code Section 10750 VC
  4. Tampering with a Vehicle Identification Number – California Vehicle Code Section 10802 VC
3. Examples

An undercover officer goes into a salvage lot suspected of dealing in stolen vehicles and speaks with the lot’s owner. The officer says he has a number of stolen vehicles but wants to replace the stolen vehicle identification numbers with legitimate ones. The lot owner suggests replacing the parts on the officer’s vehicle that display the stolen VIN with parts that would not arouse suspicion. The lot owner could be charged with the illegal sale of a vehicle identification number in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 10752 VC.

In another example, a man owns and operates an auto garage. He is highly respected for his skills in welding and metallurgy. One day the man’s cousin asks if he could manufacture and imprint VIN information on his “new car.” The man suspects the car is stolen, but he agrees to do the work on behalf of his cousin. In exchange for a few hundred dollars, the man replaces several parts on his cousin’s vehicle and issues and manufactures a new vehicle identification number. This man could be charged with possession and/or sale of a vehicle identification number in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 10752 VC.

4. Defenses to Illegal Possession/Sale of a Vehicle Identification Number

In many cases, law enforcement agencies set up sting operations that use undercover officers to catch business owners and others individuals selling or offering to provide stolen or counterfeit vehicle identification numbers. If the undercover officer was overly aggressive in getting the defendant to commit or agree to an act that he or she would not have otherwise committed, the defendant would have a strong entrapment defense that he or she could assert in court.

5. Penalties

Illegal possession/sale of a vehicle identification number is what is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means that a prosecutor can file the case as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on factors such as the defendant’s criminal history and the specific circumstances of the offense.

If convicted of this crime as a felony, a defendant may ultimately be sentenced to serve up to three years in prison. If convicted as a misdemeanor, the defendant must serve a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of a year in the county jail.

6. Criminal Defense for Illegal Possession/Sale of a Vehicle Identification Number Cases

If you or a loved one have been charged with illegal possession/sale of a vehicle identification number, or are under investigation for this offense, it is critical that you consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is highly respected throughout the court system as a passionate litigator who possesses an in-depth knowledge of the law. Mr. Kraut knows how to effectively fight cases like this and works hard to ensure his clients’ rights are absolutely protected.

For more information about illegal possession/sale of a vehicle identification number, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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