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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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My son was pulled over in a car I own and was given a ticket

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My son was pulled over in a car I own and was given a ticket for CA VC4465.2 The registration was in fact paid, but the car had failed smog, so was in complete. I devised a sticker to fend off officers stopping the car until I could get it to pass smog. Now he has to appear, not me. Should I get him an attorney? Get one for us both? Big mistake on my part just to buy time for smog certification.

HelloCustomerand welcome to Just Answer.


You have posed on interesting question, as violations of VC section 4465.2 are rather rare.


That section says:


"Every person who commits a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 4462, with intent to avoid compliance with vehicle registration requirements of Article 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Chapter 1 or Article 1 (commencing with Section 5600) of Chapter 2, is guilty of a misdemeanor."


The section to which it refers, section 4462, subd. (b), says:


"(b) No person shall display upon a vehicle, nor present to any peace officer, any registration card, identification card, temporary receipt, license plate, device issued pursuant to Section 4853, or permit not issued for that vehicle or not otherwise lawfully used thereon under this code."


Based on your question then, I take it that the citation was because of this "sticker" that you devised and placed on the car. If it a fake sticker of some kind designed to look like a real DMV sticker granting an extension of time to obtain a smog certificate, then placing it on the car was a violation of section 4465.2, a misdemeanor.


Whether or not your son violated that law by driving the car may depend on some factors you didn't mention -- such as, was he aware that you had placed the sticker on the car? And, if so, was he aware that you had made it up, rather than getting the real deal from the DMV?


If he had knowledge of the false sticker, then he may well get convicted if he fights the charge. And, since it is a misdemeanor, it may well be in his best interest to have an attorney represent him. It may be possible for an experienced attorney to negotiate a settlement with the DA's office, based on the fact that he didn't actually prepare the sticker or put it on the car himself.


There is a possibility that this may come back to you, as well, so an initial consultation by both of you with an experienced attorney would be a good idea. If you don't know one, the local county bar association has a lawyer referral service which can put you in touch with a local attorney who practices criminal law. Most such referrals cost only a modest fee ($50-100) and you can decided after that discussion whether or not to hire that attorney.


If you let me know what county you are in, I can give you information on how to contact the lawyer referral service in that county.


Thanks again for asking your question here on JustAnswer. If you have any other questions about this situation, please let me know.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am in Placer County, and would value any referrals you can recommend.

My son did not know at the time there was any irregularity in the stickers on the car.

The Placer County Bar Association website is here:

Directly under the title is a group of tabs, the second from the left being "Need Legal Help?" If you put your cursor on that title, a drop down menu appears, the first entry of which is "Northern California Lawyer Referral". Click on that link and you will be taken to the NCLR website. This is a California State Bar certified referral service which provides referrals in 20 Northern California counties. Contact information is on the site -- they will be able to provide you with a low cost ($40) initial consultation/processing fee.

Of course, if after the initial consultation you decide that you want to hire the attorney who provides the consultation, you will have to reach a separate retainer agreement with him or her to represent your son in court.

The fact that your son was not aware of the irregularity in the stickers is a defense to the charge. Convincing the DA that he was not would be the first objective of any attorney handling the case. Failing that, if the case has to go to trial, the burden of proof is on the prosecution and they would have to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that he did know about the fake sticker.

Be sure to discuss this fully with the consultation attorney, so that he or she is aware of the true situation. Anything you tell this attorney would be protected by the attorney-client privilege unless you agree that it can be told to the DA.

This, however, is where it could come back on you -- to convince the DA that your son was not aware of the fake sticker, it may be necessary to make the representation that you put it on the car without his knowledge. Depending on the DAs attitude, this could result in charges being brought against you instead of your son.

Good luck with this situation. If you have any other questions about it, please let me know.
Jim Reilly and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

I'm just following up with you to see how you are making out. If you have any other questions about this situation, please let me know.

Jim Reilly