Stealing a Road Sign in San Diego Can Lead to a Trip to Court

Posted by Neil Shouse | Mar 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

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In dorms, rec rooms, basements, or elsewhere, you've probably seen highway or road signs used as decorations. But if you steal a road sign in San Diego to fill that empty spot on your wall, or deface or post something on such a sign, you are committing a crime.

California Penal Code Section 602(f) makes it a misdemeanor to steal, alter, or post advertisements or notices on road signs and other public signs. Specifically, you can be charged with a crime for:

  • Maliciously tearing down, damaging, mutilating, or destroying any sign, signboard, or notice placed upon, or affixed to, any property belonging to the state, or to any city, county, city and county, town, or village, or upon any property of any person, by the state or by an automobile association, which sign, signboard, or notice is intended to indicate or designate a road or a highway, or is intended to direct travelers from one point to another, or relates to fires, fire control, or any other matter involving the protection of the property, or
  • putting up, affixing, fastening, printing, or painting upon any property belonging to the state, or to any city, county, town, or village, or dedicated to the public, or upon any property of any person, without license from the owner, any notice, advertisement, or designation of, or any name for any commodity, whether for sale or otherwise, or any picture, sign, or device intended to call attention to it.

The penalties for a violation of Penal Code Section 602(f) in San Diego can include up to six months in San Diego County Jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, you may also receive summary probation in lieu of jail time. Probation sentences can include such requirements as:

  • community service or labor (such as CAL-TRANS roadside work),
  • electronic monitoring or house arrest,
  • participation in counseling / treatment programs, and
  • paying restitution.

If you've been charged with a crime relating to a road sign in San Diego, please give one of our experienced San Diego criminal defense attorneys a call today to discuss your situation.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).


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