Vehicle Code 10852 VC - Tampering with a Motor Vehicle

If you’ve recently received a citation for a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation, you might be curious about why you got it, what it is, and what you can do about it. Below, we’ve covered all of the basic essentials to help you out, including information on:

What is Vehicle Code 10852 VC?

The best place to start with getting an “up close and personal” understanding of a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation, is with the California legislation. This reads: “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.”

While some of these codes can be a little complicated, this one is one of the simpler ones. Basically, receiving this violation means that you’ve either tampered with or injured (aka: damaged) parts of a vehicle that don’t belong to you, without the knowledge of, or permission of, the owner of the vehicle.

What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 10852 VC?

That makes sense pretty easily, sure, but what does it mean when it comes to actually receiving a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation? It’s best explained through using our fictional California resident, Jamal. Jamal will help us exemplify a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation and also go over some exceptions to it.

In the first situation, Jamal is in a mall parking lot, and he sees that the door to a vehicle is open. Curious, he takes a look through the glove box. Even if he doesn’t take anything, and/or his intentions were good, he is still guilty of a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation, because he didn’t have the owner’s permission to go through the glove box.

Let’s say, in another circumstance, Jamal is having a rough day and he’s in a foul mood. While leaving a restaurant after spending some time with friends, he sees a fancy hood ornament and decides that he really likes it. So, he removes it from the car and takes it home to put it up on a shelf and admire it. After all, he’s had a rough day. Since the car’s owner didn’t give him the ornament or give him permission to take it, Jamal is guilty of a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation.

Finally, Jamal and his roommate, Albert, get in a fight over something. Angry and frustrated with Albert, Jamal decides to take off Albert’s car’s license plate and hide it somewhere in their home, so he’ll have to go looking for it. Whether his intentions were to simply slow his roommate down and cause him inconvenience, or to get him in trouble with a peace officer for having no license plate, Jamal would be guilty of a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation because he is removing Albet’s license plate without his permission or consent.

All of these offenses would also apply if Jamal was just “part of the group” that was doing this. For instance, if he’s out with some friends and one of them decides to commit a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation. Since Jamal is associated with those people, anyone and everyone — including Jamal — would be cited for a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation.

These all seem pretty straightforward, which is great, but some exceptions need to be taken into consideration too. After all, if there are no cameras or witnesses around, who’s to say what happened, right?

Let’s say that Jamal is innocent of going through someone’s glove box or taking the hood ornament off of a car. Someone else did those things, but since someone saw Jamal in that area, he received the citation instead. Since Jamal is actually innocent of this violation, he is allowed (and encouraged) to say this in court (more on that next). After all, if Jamal genuinely didn’t do anything wrong, he’s not guilty of the offense.

Another exception would be if Jamal had permission to do any of these things. Let’s say his roommate, Albert notices that his car door is open and asks Jamal to go and check it out since he’s busy on the phone with someone. Since Jamal is doing it with the express consent of Albert, there is no violation. This would be the same thing if, for whatever reason, Albery asked or allowed Jamal to remove his hood ornament or license plate.

What can I do about this violation?

Receiving this violation is considered a misdemeanor in California. This means that you can spend up to a year in county jail (probation might be used in replacement), and fined up to $1, 000. As with any violation, you’ll want to always be honest in how you plead. If you are guilty, make sure you enter your plea as such and accept the punishment recommended by the court.

This violation, as we’ve talked about, does have exceptions to it. In certain cases, someone who is cited with a Vehicle Code 10852 VC could be innocent of the offense because they had the permission or consent or the owner, or they were simply named as the offender because someone falsely accused them (knowingly or unknowingly). In these cases, you can plead innocent to the charge and have legal representation in the court.

Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections

Some vehicle code violations are closely linked to each other, and sometimes the peace officer issuing the citation, and the court, may decide to apply more than one citation to your record. This often depends on the situation surrounding the citation and the driver’s previous record. For a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation, related offenses include:

  • Vehicle Code 10851 VC: This citation is more commonly known as “joyriding” and it means you’ve taken or driven a car without the owner’s consent.
  • Vehicle Code 10853 VC: This citation refers to the act of damaging or vandalizing the vehicle that you’ve taken without the owner’s consent.

These offenses can sometimes be added to the cited Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation, or they could be used (individually, or in combination with) in place of it. Again, it depends on what the court sees best for your driving record and the situation surrounding the citation.

Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?

Unfortunately, this ticket is not eligible for traffic school. Eligibility for any accredited driving school, such as MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL, is connected to — among other things — having received a “moving citation”. For example, refusing to give right of way to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, or not stopping at a red stoplight. Since a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation is not connected to actual driving technique or adherence to the driving rules themselves, attending a traffic school wouldn’t be considered helpful in avoiding this citation in the future.

Confused about how a moving citation is categorized, or why a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation isn’t eligible? Please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help you out so that you can get the information and facts that you need to understand this citation. You can also contact the court issuing your ticket, too, as they often will be a more personalized approach to your specific case.

How can I avoid a citation for a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation?

The best thing that you can do to keep your driving record free and clear is to avoid a Vehicle Code 10852 VC entirely. Thankfully, this is a relatively simple one to avoid, especially when it comes to the idea of consent!

When you are accessing anything in a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you (in this case, “belong” means that your name is not on the registration or insurance card), always make sure that you have the owner’s consent first. Sure, it’s annoying to have to ask your parents about getting something out of the car in the parking lot, but the goal here is that you are going to be able to have the owner confirm that you did, in fact, have their consent. After all, they can’t lie about something like that in a court of law. So, while it may seem like overkill to have to ask expression permission, or let them know that you are accessing it every time, it’s going to be important for legal protection.

Another detail, here, is to never touch anyone’s car that doesn’t belong to you, no matter how good your intentions! This includes the idea of wanting to help. Let’s say someone’s car door is open or the window is down in a rainstorm, or its lights are on (a classic example) in a mall parking lot. You can let the security or administration in the mall know by giving the detail and the license plate number, and they’ll announce it on the loudspeaker for the owner to hear. Again, sounds like overkill for something as simple as that, but it’s your driving record that could be impacted, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep in mind: if you have consent and the owner of the car knows that you are accessing the vehicle, or (for whatever reason) removing the license plate or hood ornament, a Vehicle Code 10852 VC violation wouldn’t be valid! The same goes for if you are a named owner of the vehicle (and it’s on the paperwork).

SOURCES

MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL

San Diego Ticket Fighter