CALL OR TEXT 24/7:  909.939.7126
Open/Close Menu Inland Empire Criminal Defense
A person in a black outfit is breaking into a parked van at night.

VC 10852: Tampering with a Motor Vehicle

Legal Definition: “No person shall either individually or in association with one or more other persons, willfully injure or tamper with any vehicle or the contents thereof or break or remove any part of a vehicle without the consent of the owner.”

To be found guilty under VC 10852 the prosecution must prove:

  1. You willfully tampered with or injured a vehicle as a whole; or
  2. You willfully broke or removed individual parts of a vehicle

What does this mean?

To tamper with, under this section, means to interfere with, in this case, a motor vehicle. It is also necessary for you to be acting without the consent of the owner of the vehicle. Having consented to tamper with a motor vehicle, such as a mechanic at a car shop, would mean you would not be liable for a criminal charge under this section for tampering.

You act “willfully” when you do something on purpose. It is not important if you did not intend to break the law, but that you willfully tampered, which is a violation under this section. This can be done by yourself, or with a group of other people, all of which, can be charged with this crime.


A charge under VC 10852 is a misdemeanor-only offense, as opposed to a Felony or an Infraction charge. If you are convicted of this charge as a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to up to one year in a County Jail. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You could also be subjected to a fine of upwards of $1,000 for a misdemeanor conviction.

This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a suspension or loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Court if you have more than one criminal conviction on your record, and then pick up another case involving this charge.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence
  4. False Allegations

False accusations are not technically considered a “defense” in criminal law. In essence, the defense of false accusations comes from a person who falsely blames you for a crime you did not commit. So in essence, there is a witness that is blaming you for the crime, and you are claiming you are innocent. In many other defenses under California law, you are guilty of the crime, but there is a technical defense that prevents a conviction, different than here. A personal vendetta a person may have against you could possibly lead to criminal charges and even a conviction. It is imperative if you are falsely accused of a crime to contact an Ontario Criminal Defense attorney that can help lead to a dismissal of your case.

Your rights can be violated in a multitude of ways. For example, if police conduct an unlawful search and seizure of you, and obtain evidence of you tampering with vehicles, that evidence could possibly be suppressed. If police violate your 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, such as here, police unlawfully detain you without probable cause or search you or your home without a warrant or probable cause, then whatever evidence found can be suppressed. Here, your Ontario Criminal Defense attorney would be able to file a motion under PC 1538.5, to suppress the illegally obtained evidence, and if that motion is granted, your case could be dismissed.

Call Today

A criminal conviction can have a devastating impact on your life, your job, and your future. Ontario VC 10852 attorney has successfully defended thousands of people accused of criminal offenses, including cases under VC 10852. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-281-0456. Located in Ontario.

Write a comment:


Your email address will not be published.

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a consultation.

© 2023 Inland Empire Criminal Defense. Site Designed by Inbound Surge, a Digital Creative Agency.