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San Diego Vehicle Code Crimes Attorney

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Biking Under the Influence California Vehicle Code 21200.5

This is typically called driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In order for a person to violate Vehicle Code 21200.5 the person must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. They are 1) The person was riding a bike 2) The person riding the bike was on a highway 3) While riding the bike, the person was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. There are six common defenses under Vehicle Code 21200.5.


The defenses are 1) The person was cycling recklessly, but was not under the influence 2) There was other alternative means for the person’s physical appearance such as watery eyes, slurred talk. 3) The field sobriety test does not accurately test impairment 4) The police officer did not keep notice of the person for 15 minutes before conducting a breathalyzer test 5) The officer failed to follow title 17 Regulations when administrating a blood test. 6) The officer did not follow proper procedures.

The person was cycling recklessly however was not under the influence

The state faces the burden of proving that the biker was riding similar to someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The defense can argue there was debris or other obstacles that resulted in the rider weaving and falling.

Alternative means for the person physical appearance

A argument would be that there was innocent reasons for the person to be riding recklessly. Some reasons are allergies, and frustration, which are not related to drugs or alcohol.

Field Sobriety Test do not accurately measure impairment

There are many factors that trigger the performance of a FST. Some factors are physical coordination, nerves, and distractions.

The officer did not keep notice of the person for 15 minutes

California law requires an officer to keep notice of you for 15 minutes before he or she can conduct a breath test.

The Officer failed to show title 17 regulations when administrating the blood test 

The person arrested for riding a bike under the influence can request a blood test to show that he or she was not under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both.

The Officer did not follow proper procedures

There are numerous reason a officer must abide by before convicting the person of a CUI. The officer must have probable cause to initially stop the person. The officer must have informed the person of their Miranda rights and other procedures.

Open Container Vehicle Code Sections 23221-23229

This law restricts driving a vehicle with an alcoholic beverage open in the car. This law restricts both driving and riding in a car with an open alcoholic container. Opened is defined as any beverage that has been literally open, the bottle has a broken seal or the person has drank the bottle partially or completely. This law covers 1) Drinking in the car 2) Holding ownership of an open alcoholic beverage or container 3) Storing open containers in a trunk 4) Holding open containers in the passenger compartment. There are four defenses to the Open Container law.


The four defenses are

  • 1) The alcoholic beverage or bottle was in the trunk of the car
  • 2) The alcohol was on a bus, taxi, or a RV
  • 3) The police officer did not have probable cause to stop you
  • 4) The alcoholic beverage or container was found during unreasonable search and seizure.   



The open container law is considered an infraction in California. This means an open container violation carries with it no jail time just a maximum fine of $250. However, a minor exercising ownership over an alcoholic beverage or container violates the California Business and Professions Code 25662. (See 25662 rule if the person is a minor).

If you have participated in the unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle, you have committed a California vehicle code crime. This sort of crime, also known as joyriding, can carry stiff penalties and fines that can leave you banned from driving or even worse, serving time in prison. Don’t face these charges on your own. Secure a talented San Diego criminal defense lawyer like Bradley R. Corbett. Our team of aggressive San Diego criminal defense experts will work tirelessly in order to provide the best result possible for your case.

False Statements to DMV and CHP California Vehicle Code 20

This vehicle code is applied whenever a person has used false statements or false names to the DMV. Vehicle 20 states, “It is unlawful to use a false or fictitious name. or to knowingly make any false statement or knowingly conceal any material fact in any document filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Department of the California Highway Patrol.” There are two elements needed to satisfy Vehicle Code 20. They are 1) The person used a false or wrong name and 2) The person intentionally made false reports n his DMV application. There is one common defense to Vehicle Code 20.


The one defense for Vehicle Code 20 is the person did not have the intent to defraud the DMV or CHP. The act was a result from a accident rather than intentional.


California Vehicle Code 20 is considered a misdemeanor; a person may face a maximum jail sentence of six months and a fine up to $1,000.

What is Joyriding?

California state laws defines joyriding as the driving or taking of a vehicle not owned the individual, without the consent of the owner, with the intent to deprive the owner of the vehicle whether temporary or permanently. Any person who is an accessory or accomplice in this crime can also be found guilty.


The penalties for committing a vehicle code crime are dependent on the type of vehicle stolen. For instance, if you take your neighbor’s car without permission and are caught by the police while joyriding, you could face misdemeanor charges with penalties ranging from one year in county jail and/or a fine of $5,000. If the vehicle is a law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, fire department vehicle, or a vehicle specially modified for a disabled person, you are likely to face felony penalties of 1-4 years in state prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

If you’ve been charged with a joyriding for a vehicle code crime, contact the expert San Diego criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Bradley R. Corbett today.

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Don’t wait until it is too late! Delaying or even denying yourself the counsel and strength we can provide you could have life changing consequences. Call us today and let an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney help you protect your freedoms, life, and family.

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