California Vehicle Code 42002.1 § VC requires commercial drivers to stop and submit to any legally-required inspection of their equipment. Failure to do so is a crime punishable by up to 5 days in jail and a $50.00 fine.
The language of the code section reads that:
42002.1. A person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of Section 2800, 2801, or 2803, insofar as it affects a failure to stop and submit to inspection of equipment or for an unsafe condition endangering a person, shall be punished as follows:
(a) By a fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50) or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding five days.
(b) For a second conviction within a period of one year, a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 10 days, or both that fine and imprisonment.
(c) For a third or a subsequent conviction within a period of one year, a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both that fine and imprisonment.
- Miquel, who has a prior conviction under VC 2801, is driving a truck and ignores an inspection checkpoint because he is running late.
- Kelly, who is driving a commercial vehicle, was convicted of disobeying a police officer and decides to speed past an inspection point.
- Nate, who has a prior conviction under VC 2803, is driving a work truck and fails to stop at a marked inspection checkpoint.
There are several legal defenses that a person can raise. These include showing that the defendant:
- had no prior conviction,
- was not a commercial driver, and/or
- acted out of necessity.
A violation of VC 42002.1 is a wobblette offense, meaning it can be charged as either an infraction or a misdemeanor (but never a felony). The penalties for the crime may include:
- a maximum fine of $50, and/or
- imprisonment in the county jail for up to five days.
These penalties can increase if a defendant has multiple convictions under the statute.
Our California criminal defense attorneys will discuss the following in this article:
- 1. What is prohibited under Vehicle Code 42002.1 VC?
- 2. What are the best defenses to the charge?
- 3. Penalties, punishment, and sentencing
- 4. Related offenses
1. What is prohibited under Vehicle Code 42002.1 VC?
Vehicle Code 42002.1 VC is the California statute that says it is a crime for a commercial driver to fail to stop and submit to an inspection of equipment.
A prosecutor must prove two things to successfully convict an accused under this code section. These are:
1. the defendant was convicted of:
- a. disobeying a police officer, per VC 2800,
- b. disobeying a fire department official, per VC 2801, or
- c. failure to comply with height, weight, length, or width requirements, per VC2803,
2. the defendant failed to stop and submit to inspection of equipment or for an unsafe condition.1
2. What are the best defenses to the charge?
If a person is accused of a crime under this statute, then he can challenge the accusation by raising a legal defense. A good defense can often get a charge reduced or even dismissed.
Three common defenses are:
- no prior conviction,
- no commercial driver, and/or
2.1. No prior conviction
The language within Vehicle Code 42002.1 states that an accused is only guilty if he has a prior conviction of:
- VC 2800,
- VC 2801, or
- VC 2802.
Therefore, it is always a perfect legal defense for a defendant to show that, while he may have failed to stop for an inspection, he did not have a prior conviction.
2.2. No commercial driver
VC 42002.1 only applies to commercial drivers. This means it is always a defense for an accused to say that he did not stop at an inspection checkpoint because he was not driving a commercial vehicle.
Under a necessity defense, a defendant essentially tries to avoid guilt by showing that he had a sufficiently good reason to commit the crime. People sometimes refer to this defense as “guilty with an explanation.” In the context of not stopping at an inspection point, an accused could attempt to show that he committed the crime since he had no other choice (e.g., because of an emergency).
3. Penalties, punishment, and sentencing
A violation of VC 42002.1 is a wobblette offense, meaning it can be charged as either an infraction or a misdemeanor.
For a defendant’s first violation under this statute, he may face:
- a maximum fine of $50, or
- imprisonment in the county jail for up to five days.2
If the defendant has a prior conviction under VC 42002.1 within a one-year period, a second conviction can be penalized with:
- a maximum fine of $100, or
- imprisonment in the county jail for up to ten days.3
For a third or subsequent conviction within a one-year period, the defendant can face:
- a maximum fine of $500, or
- imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months.4
4. Related Offenses
There are three crimes related to failing to stop and submit to an inspection. These are:
- tampering with the vehicle of a disabled person – VC 42002.5
- driving an overweight vehicle – VC 3551, and
- operating an unsafe vehicle – VC 24002
4.1. Tampering with the vehicle of a disabled person – VC 42002.5
Vehicle Code 42002.5 VC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to tamper with the vehicle of a disabled person.5
A violation of VC 42002.5 is charged as a misdemeanor. The crime is punishable by:
- a maximum fine of $2,000, and/or
- imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.6
4.2. Driving an overweight vehicle – VC 3551
Vehicle Code 3551 is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to drive a vehicle that exceeds a specified weight.7
In most cases, driving an overweight vehicle is a misdemeanor under California law.
The potential penalties are:
- misdemeanor (summary) probation,
- up to six months in county jail, and/or
- a fine of up to $1,000.8
4.3. Operating an unsafe vehicle – VC 24002
California Vehicle Code 24002 VC prohibits drivers in California from operating an unsafe or unlawfully equipped vehicle.9
Courts determine whether a vehicle is unsafe and unlawfully equipped by examining the specific facts of a case.10
A driver that violates VC 24002 will receive a ticket for the violation and he must pay a corresponding fine of $238.00.
Drivers that operate an unsafe or unlawfully equipped vehicle will also receive one point on their DMV driving records.
For additional help…
If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Vehicle Code 42002.1 VC, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7.
- California Vehicle Code 42002.1 VC.
- California Vehicle Code 42002.1a VC.
- California Vehicle Code 42002.1b VC.
- California Vehicle Code 42002.1c VC.
- California Vehicle Code 42002.5 VC.
- See same.
- California Vehicle Code 3551 VC.
- California Penal Code 19 PC.
- California Vehicle Code 24002 VC.
- Henshaw v. Belyea (1934) 220 Cal. 458.