Attaching Unassigned Plate or Tag
In Florida, a person cannot knowingly attach to any motor vehicle a registration license plate or a validation sticker if the plate or sticker was not issued and assigned or lawfully transferred to such vehicle. Fla. Stat. § 320.261. One who does, commits a second-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 60 days in jail or 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine. The main risk for most first-time offenders, the primary risk is that they will be adjudicated guilty and acquire a permanent criminal record.
To prove the crime of Attaching Plate or Tag Not Assigned, the State must establish three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The accused attached a registration license plate or validation sticker to a vehicle;
- The registration license plate or validation sticker was not lawfully issued and assigned to that vehicle; and
- The accused knew that the plate or sticker was not lawfully issued and assigned to the vehicle.
If law enforcement did not witness the defendant physically attach the tag to the unassigned vehicle, and if the defendant did not admit to doing, or of knowing, so, the State almost always cannot prove its case. In such an instance, the State would need an independent witness or other competent proof to sustain a conviction.
Moreover, even if the defendant admitted to police that he or she illegally attached the plate, the confession is inadmissible until State puts forth substantial evidence of each element of the crime, and the confession cannot be part of this evidence.
Thus, Attaching Plate or Tag Not Assigned charges are highly defendable. If you have been charged with it, call Michael today for a free consultation.