You made a mistake when filling out the paperwork
People make mistakes. If you, for example accidentally misspelled your name, or used a different spelling of your name, because it is spelled differently in another language, or maybe your foreign passport lists a different date of birth and you always get confused by which one to use, then you may be able to use that as a defense.
A mistake is a viable defense to this charge, because it shows that you had no knowledge of the falsity of the information and/or no intent to defraud.
Example of this defense
A driver submitted to the DMV paperwork that falsely indicated that she was still the owner of a vehicle that in reality she already sold. If she mistakenly did so, she will be able to use the defense of “mistake” to show that she did not intend to defraud the DMV.
Penalties for vehicle code 20 vc include the following:
|Fine||Up to $1,000|
|County Jail||Up to 6 months|
Can I Expunge A Conviction For False Statements to DMV or CHP?
Pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4, California’s Expungement Law, a defendant is entitled to have his/her misdemeanor or felony offense expunged if the defendant:
- Has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation,
- is not currently, charged with a criminal offense,
- On probation for a criminal offense,
- Serving a sentence for a criminal offense.
However, a defendant does not qualify for an expungement in a case where he/she was sent to California state prison. Furthermore, certain offenses cannot be expunged under penal code 1203.4, including serious sex offenses committed against children.
Please feel free to contact the Aizman Law Firm if you would like to get more information about whether you qualify for an expungement of your criminal record.
Perjury: Under Penal Code 118 pc – California’s Perjury Law a defendant is guilty of perjury when he/she intentionally provides false information that he/she knows to be false while are under oath.
If convicted of perjury, a defendant may face a felony charge, punishable by up to 2, 3, or 4 years in the California state prison, in addition to a fine of up to $10,000.
Example: In the example above, wherein the applicant who is under 18 years old falsely states in his application for a driver’s license that he is over the age of 18, if he signs the application under penalty of perjury, he may alternatively be guilty of perjury under section 118 of the Penal Code, which is a greater offense.
Offering False Evidence:Under Penal Code 132 pc California’s “Offering False Evidence” Law the offense entails knowingly presenting false written evidence as if it were true or real in any legal proceeding and/or upon any inquiry authorized by law. If convicted of this offense, a defendant may face a sentence of up to 3 years in the California state prison.
Example: Offering to the DMV a fake pink slip that you paid someone to create to prove ownership of a vehicle that does not lawfully belong to you.
Forgery or Falsification of Car Registration Stickers: Under Vehicle Code Section 4463 VC California’s” forgery or falsification of car registration stickers” law – it is unlawful to forge, alter, or falsify vehicle registration stickers, license, or license plate.
Example: Presenting a fake driver’s license can cause you to violate this offense.
If convicted of this offense, a defendant may face either a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on prior criminal history or the circumstances surrounding the offense. If charged with a misdemeanor, a defendant may face a sentence of up to 1 year in a county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If charged with a felony, a defendant may face a sentence of up to 16 months, 2 or 3 years in the California state prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
California’s False Identification to a Police Officer Laws Penal Code 148.9 PC – This Law prohibits presenting a fake identity to a police officer.
If you have been charged under Vehicle Code 20 and would like a confidential consultation you can call us at (818) 351-9555.
Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555
- Vehicle Code 20 vc – It is unlawful to use a false or fictitious name, or to knowingly make any false statement or knowingly conceal any material fact in any document filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of the California Highway Patrol. [↩]
- People v. Molina (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 221. [↩]
- California Vehicle Code 40000.5 – A violation of any of the following provisions shall constitute a misdemeanor, and not an infraction:Section 20, relating to false statements.Section 27, relating to impersonating a member of the California Highway Patrol.Section 31, relating to giving false information.Paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), or subdivision (b), or both, of Section 221, relating to proper evidence of clearance for dismantling. [↩]
- California Penal Code 19 – Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both. [↩]
- Vehicle Code 20 VC. [↩]
- The word “knowingly” imports only a knowledge that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of this code. It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of such act or omission. In this case, knowingly means that you knew that the statement or fact is false and offered it anyway. It does not mean that you knew that the act of offering the false statement or fact is unlawful. [↩]