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 www.criminallawyerminnesota.com.