The charge of tampering with a motor vehicle is a misdemeanor offense in Minnesota. A person can be charged with the offense for  tampering with or entering  into a car without the owner’s permission. We already know what it means to enter into a car, but what does  it mean  to “tamper” with a motor vehicle under Minnesota law? The act of tampering with a motor vehicle  requires some degree of change or alteration to the car,  or some type of substantial interference with the car. If you simply shine a flashlight into the interior of the car or pull on the door handle, you can not be legally  charged and convicted of  this offense.

I recently achieved a dismissal of  a tampering with a motor vehicle charge based on   lack of probable cause  to believe my client committed the offense.  The eye witness in the case alleged that he observed my client   pull on the door handle. There was no allegation by the eye witness that he observed my client actually enter into the car.  Without more, the act of pulling on the door handle alone did not constitute “tampering” and the charge had to be dismissed. 

If you or someone you know has been charged in Minnesota with the crime of tampering with a motor vehicle, you will need an experienced  criminal defense attorney to defend your record and your freedom.  Call attorney  Robert J. Shane now for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website for more information at