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What is the fine for driving a dealer's car?

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by Mike2004661, Aug 10, 2020.

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  1. Mike2004661

    Mike2004661 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Hi,
    My brother has a small auto wholesale dealer in Los Angeles,California.Almost a month ago,he asked me to drive one of his dealer cars with dealer plate on for 20-30 miles to have it ready for the smog check.I don't work for him and just did it to help him out . He had purchased the car a week prior and the bill of sale was inside the car.I then was stopped by the LA deputy sheriff after a few miles driving although the car had current license plate on it"good till 2021"and it was in normal driving condition and I hadn't committed any traffic violation at time I got stopped.I submitted him the bill of sale and my drivers license but he issued me a misdemeanor ticket for "misuse of dealer plate" indicating that my brother is the owner of the plate not me.I have to appear at court in a month and am really concerned that what the consequence would be for me.I have a clean driving record and have never got any traffic tickets.
    Thanks,
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    When you appear in court you may be able to argue that the citation is the responsibility of the owner/dealer.
    Restrictions on the use of dealer plates is not something you would reasonably be expected to know. However, the dealer should have known you were not authorized to drive the car with a dealer plate.
    The dealer misused the plate, not you.

    If you are held responsible expect a petty fine. It is not a moving violation that would effect your insurance or be a point on your license.
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I suppose the OP *may* be able to argue that...but not successfully. If you really feel differently, then please post the statute that allows for such a transfer of responsibility for this type of ticket. (You made the assertion, you provide the citation.) If you can do that, then I'll acknowledge it.

    While I would agree with you from a fairness perspective, I don't agree with you from a legal perspective. In any case, the judge may also agree that it's unfair, so it can't hurt for the OP to discuss this matter with the judge.

    I agree.

    I submit that they both misused the plates.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Mike, your car dealer brother posted the story on another site and it was suggested that you defend on the basis that you were an "employee" or "agent" of your brother at the time you were driving the car.

    Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    "Employee" or "agent" can be interpreted in many different ways.

    A lawyer would know how to present that properly and you'll need your brother to testify about the arrangement.

    Meantime, Mightymoose and Zigner, let's refrain from the tired old "I'm right, you're wrong" argument.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    CVC 40001(a)
    It isn't really a transfer- the owner is responsible the whole time.
    The officer could/should have checked the box for owner responsibility on the front of the citation.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    (e) Whenever a violation is chargeable to the owner or lessee of a vehicle pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), the driver shall not be arrested or cited for the violation unless the vehicle is registered in a state or country other than California, or unless the violation is for an offense that is clearly within the responsibility of the driver.

    (emphasis added)

    In order to comply with the moderator's request above, I will not reply further on this thread about this line of reasoning.
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Those would be moving violations.
    It's ok though. I didn't really expect you to acknowledge it... not your style ;)

    I had thought the same at first, but it is likely that has already been defeated by statements made at the time of the stop. The answers to the contrary are likely what resulted in the citation being issued.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    I answered on the other thread as well. Your story makes even less sense than his. It looks like you were trying to game the smog and getting caught breaking the laws on dealer plates are the least of your troubles. I'd avoid incriminating yourself further.

    Let me guess. You or your brother just cleared the codes on the check engine rather than fixing things?
     
    army judge likes this.
  9. Mike2004661

    Mike2004661 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks a lot for all the tips and inputs. Honesty,I was trying to help my brother at that day for the first and only time.He has a WHOLESALE dealer business and neither him nor me did know this would become a problem.
    For any reason the judge does not accept our explanation,what would be the punishment and consequences for me as the driver and for my brother as the owner of dealer plate?
     
  10. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    You pay the fine for operating in the violation of the plate. Your brother deals with the issues of impounded vehicles and possibly losing the tag.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If the OP was charged with a misdemeanor (as he may well have been), this might not be quite so simple and can leave the OP with a criminal record.

    If he wasn't, then please disregard this post
     
  12. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    If the stuff from the brother was accurate, he was charged with misuse of the dealer plates. It's just an infraction with a hefty fine.
     
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Perhaps, maybe, no one can answer with any certainty.

    It might be best if you consulted a couple of CA attorneys experienced in DMV related violations.

    You have the RIGHT to remain silent.
    The state MUST prove ALL of the elements of the violation for which you were cited.
    It is best that you don't assist them as they endeavor to do so.

    The more a person blabs, the more assistance is provided to the state with a very arduous task.
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    There aren't too many elements to prove here. He was driving a car with a dealer plate and he is not a person that is authorized to do so by the law regarding the use of such plates. He wasn't an employee of the dealer or any of the other people allowed to use the plates. He wasn't driving the car in a fashion that would have been legal even if he had been an employee.

    I suggested in the other forum they try an attorney. I suggested a possible defense, but of coruse, that won't work because the brother lied about what was going on. It doesn't help your attorney (or people on these boards) to bend the truth in order to hope to get an answer you like, you'll be caught out in court pretty darned quickly. Of course, many lawyers who deal regularly with criminals expect and are pretty good at detecting such omissions and falehoods.
     
  15. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    catemp.JPG

    California has finally ditched its ridiculously flawed system of temporary registration and adopted true temporary license plates, ending one of the most commonly exploited loopholes in the entire North American car world. As of Jan. 1, 2019, newly purchased cars in California drive around with an actual paper license plate as you see above — complete with a QR code, an expiration date and plate numbers — indicating with the temporary registration expires. If that date passes and you don’t have a real license plate, expect to get pulled over.

    First, a little overview of exactly what happened before temporary plates in California. What happened was, you’d get the dealer license plate insert, you’d stick it where the plate would go, and then you’d drive around forever. And I mean forever. You’re supposed to have a temporary registration for about two months while the state processes your paperwork, at which point they mail you real license plates, which you’re then supposed to put on your car.

    But instead, many drivers went a year or two without actually sticking on their real plates — sometimes out of the sheer laziness of not wanting to take the time to put them on the car, and sometimes out of a desire to avoid tolls, parking tickets, red light camera tickets and more. The general feeling in California, for years, has been that if your car looks new enough to have the dealer plate insert, then a police officer probably wouldn’t bother pulling you over, since there’s no way to tell if your registration is valid or not.

    And, indeed, I know many people who really exploited this, driving around for months or even a year or more with no license plate, knowing that nobody was really going to check. In the past, the only way to find out if the temporary registration was valid was that a police officer had to pull you over, then physically examine the temporary registration document on the front windshield, which has no print larger than what you see on this page. Enforcement, as a result, was limited.

    Well, all that is finally over, and real temporary plates are here, meaning people can no longer drive around without registering their cars and skipping on registration fees. An enormous portion of the exotic cars you see in Southern California have dealer plate inserts, and within a few months they’ll all be operating illegally — so it’ll be interesting to see exactly what happens with those cars. Will owners cough up sales tax, assuming they’ve never paid it? Or have they paid all their taxes, and they just didn’t want to put plates on their cars?

    We’ll find out soon enough, because I suspect the police will soon start cracking down on violators with no license plates — meaning one of the easiest and most commonly exploited loopholes for driving in the U.S. is finally coming to an end.

    Autotrader - page unavailable

    California’s new temporary license tag law: for some car buyers, a nightmare on wheels | CARS Blog
     
  16. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    He has a dealer license. He's supposed to know the dealer licensing laws.
    He has dealer plates. He's supposed to know the dealer plate laws.

    That he didn't know that this would be a problem IS the problem.

    That's something you might find out by calling the court or by calling a lawyer.

    That's the purview of the state dealer licensing agency. Your brother may end up having to deal with that.

    At this point I suggest you rely on Army Judge's advice about getting a lawyer.

    I don't think we can be of any further help to you. Thread closed.
     

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