2010 California Code
Vehicle Code
Chapter 4. Theft And Injury Of Vehicles

VEHICLE CODE
SECTION 10850-10855



10850.  The provisions of this chapter apply to vehicles upon the
highways and elsewhere throughout the State.



10851.  (a) Any person who drives or takes a vehicle not his or her
own, without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either
to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner thereof of his or
her title to or possession of the vehicle, whether with or without
intent to steal the vehicle, or any person who is a party or an
accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking
or stealing, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not
more than one year or in the state prison or by a fine of not more
than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and
imprisonment.
   (b) If the vehicle is (1) an ambulance, as defined in subdivision
(a) of Section 165, (2) a distinctively marked vehicle of a law
enforcement agency or fire department, taken while the ambulance or
vehicle is on an emergency call and this fact is known to the person
driving or taking, or any person who is party or an accessory to or
an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, or
(3) a vehicle which has been modified for the use of a disabled
veteran or any other disabled person and which displays a
distinguishing license plate or placard issued pursuant to Section
22511.5 or 22511.9 and this fact is known or should reasonably have
been known to the person driving or taking, or any person who is
party or an accessory in the driving or unauthorized taking or
stealing, the offense is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the
state prison for two, three, or four years or by a fine of not more
than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and
imprisonment.
   (c) In any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b),
the consent of the owner of a vehicle to its taking or driving shall
not in any case be presumed or implied because of the owner's consent
on a previous occasion to the taking or driving of the vehicle by
the same or a different person.
   (d) The existence of any fact which makes subdivision (b)
applicable shall be alleged in the accusatory pleading, and either
admitted by the defendant in open court, or found to be true by the
jury trying the issue of guilt or by the court where guilt is
established by plea of guilty or nolo contendere or by trial by the
court sitting without a jury.
   (e) Any person who has been convicted of one or more previous
felony violations of this section, or felony grand theft of a vehicle
in violation of subdivision (d) of Section 487 of the Penal Code,
former subdivision (3) of Section 487 of the Penal Code, as that
section read prior to being amended by Section 4 of Chapter 1125 of
the Statutes of 1993, or Section 487h of the Penal Code, is
punishable as set forth in Section 666.5 of the Penal Code. The
existence of any fact that would bring a person under Section 666.5
of the Penal Code shall be alleged in the information or indictment
and either admitted by the defendant in open court, or found to be
true by the jury trying the issue of guilt or by the court where
guilt is established by plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or by
trial by the court sitting without a jury.
   (f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1997.



10851.5.  Any person who takes binder chains, required under
regulations adopted pursuant to Section 31510, having a value of nine
hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less which chains are not his own,
without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either
permanently or temporarily to deprive the owner thereof of his title
to or possession of the binder chains whether with or without intent
to steal the same, or any person who is a party or accessory to or an
accomplice in the unauthorized taking or stealing is guilty of a
misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by
imprisonment in the county jail for not less than six months or by a
fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both such
fine and imprisonment. The consent of the owner of the binder chain
to its taking shall not in any case be presumed or implied because of
such owner's consent on a previous occasion to the taking of the
binder chain by the same or a different person.



10852.  No person shall either individually or in association with
one or more other persons, wilfully injure or tamper with any vehicle
or the contents thereof or break or remove any part of a vehicle
without the consent of the owner.


10853.  No person shall with intent to commit any malicious
mischief, injury, or other crime, climb into or upon a vehicle
whether it is in motion or at rest, nor shall any person attempt to
manipulate any of the levers, starting mechanism, brakes, or other
mechanism or device of a vehicle while the same is at rest and
unattended, nor shall any person set in motion any vehicle while the
same is at rest and unattended.



10854.  Every person having the storage, care, safe-keeping,
custody, or possession of any vehicle of a type subject to
registration under this code who, without the consent of the owner,
takes, hires, runs, drives, or uses the vehicle or who takes or
removes any part thereof is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon
conviction shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding one thousand
dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not
exceeding one year or by both.


10855.  Whenever any person who has leased or rented a vehicle
wilfully and intentionally fails to return the vehicle to its owner
within five days after the lease or rental agreement has expired,
that person shall be presumed to have embezzled the vehicle.


Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. California may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.