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Penal Code 374.3: Illegal Waste Dumping Laws in California

PC 374.3: Illegal Waste Dumping

Legal Definition:

(a) It is unlawful to dump or cause to be dumped waste matter in or upon a public or private highway or road, including any portion of the right-of-way thereof, or in or upon private property into or upon which the public is admitted by easement or license, or upon private property without the consent of the owner, or in or upon a public park or other public property other than property designated or set aside for that purpose by the governing board or body having charge of that property.

(b) It is unlawful to place, deposit, or dump, or cause to be placed, deposited, or dumped, rocks, concrete, asphalt, or dirt in or upon a private highway or road, including any portion of the right-of-way of the private highway or road, or private property, without the consent of the owner or a contractor under a contract with the owner for the materials, or in or upon a public park or other public property, without the consent of the state or local agency having jurisdiction over the highway, road, or property.

What does this mean?

The crime here occurs when you dumb waste mater on a public/private road or highway, on private property that is accessible by the public, on another private person’s property without their consent, or in a public park or public property. In other words, in addition to getting in trouble for possibly leaving trash in public, you can also be cited for doing this on a neighbor’s property if you do not have their consent to do this.


This is an infraction only offense, it is not a misdemeanor or felony charge. You cannot be sentenced to jail for this. However, if you are cited for this offense, you can face fines from a minimum of $250 to up to $3,000 depending on what you leave, and if you have any prior convictions.

This is also not a Strike offense under California’s Three Strikes Law. It will also not affect your Immigration Case or Professional Licensing.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Insufficient Evidence
  3. Duress
  4. Necessity

Imagine a scenario where you have an agreement with a neighbor, where you are allowed to leave or dump trash upon their property. Maybe they plan to take the trash to the dump, and an Officer sees you dumping the trash on your neighbor’s property. Here, if they attempted to cite you, a valid defense would be that you had consent from your neighbor to dump the trash. If you are able to show the consent occurred, then you can successfully argue that there insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of Illegal Waste Dumping.

You cannot be found guilty of a crime if you acted under Duress. A person acts under duress if, because of a threat or menace, you believed that you or someone else’s life would be in immediate danger if you refused a demand or request to commit the crimes. If you can show that you performed an act because you believed your life was in immediate danger if you did not commit the act – here, illegal waste dumping, you can then use the defense of Duress for your case.

Call Today

The ramifications of a criminal conviction extend far beyond the courtroom, potentially hindering your educational prospects, career trajectory, and future endeavors. Specifically, charges under Penal Code 374.3 for illegal waste dumping carry not just legal penalties but also long-lasting social and professional consequences.

Why Choose Inland Empire Criminal Defense?

Our Ontario legal team, with a strong track record in defending against illegal waste dumping charges, understands the stakes. Each case under PC 374.3 is approached with a comprehensive defense strategy aimed at preserving your freedom and future.

Our Legal Services Include:

  • Expert Defense: Leveraging extensive knowledge and experience to defend you against charges of illegal waste dumping.
  • Tailored Strategy: Developing a defense plan that addresses the specific details and circumstances of your case.
  • 24/7 Support: Providing round-the-clock legal guidance to navigate this challenging period.

Act Now to Protect Your Future

The impact of a conviction for illegal waste dumping under PC 374.3 can be profound and far-reaching. Don’t leave your future to chance. If you or a loved one is facing such charges, immediate legal intervention is crucial.

Get in Touch for a Comprehensive Defense

Our PC 374.3 Ontario attorney is ready to defend your rights and work towards the best possible outcome in your case. The initial consultation is free, and we’re here to answer your questions anytime. Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense at 909-939-7126. Situated in Ontario, CA, we’re committed to defending your future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Does the attorney offer confidential consultations?

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Does the attorney offer payment plans?

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Is the consultation free?

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Are the consultations in person or only over the phone?

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Is the office open on weekends?

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Does the attorney serve all of California?

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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