Section 154J Crimes Act | Possessing Identification Plate Without Vehicle


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Vehicle identification plates are used as a means of identifying motor vehicles.
Every car is required by law to have an attached vehicle identification plate which specifies that vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN).

This is different to a number plate – rather, the VIN is a unique identification code for that specific vehicle which will appear on your car’s registration papers.

Vehicle identification plates are sometimes removed or changed on vehicles which have been stolen and ‘rebirthed.’

Accordingly, it is an offence under section 154J of the Crimes Act to possess a vehicle identification plate which is not attached to the relevant vehicle.

If you are found to have a vehicle identification plate in your possession that is not attached to the relevant motor vehicle, you could face a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

However, this maximum penalty will only apply in the most serious cases. With the help of our experienced traffic and criminal law specialists, you may be able to persuade the magistrate or judge to deal with the matter leniently.

The Legislation

Section 154J of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “possession of vehicle identification number not attached to motor vehicle” and reads as follows:

154J Possession of vehicle identification plate not attached to motor vehicle
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if the person, without reasonable excuse, knowingly has possession of a vehicle identification plate not attached to the motor vehicle to which it relates. Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 5 years.

(2) The onus of proof of reasonable excuse in proceedings for an offence against this section lies on the accused.

(3) In this section:”motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle within the meaning of the Road Transport (General) Act 2005 (whether or not the vehicle contains the motor intended to form part of it).”vehicle identification number” means a vehicle identification number allocated to a vehicle in accordance with the national standards under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 of the Commonwealth.”vehicle identification plate” means a plate, label or other thing that has a vehicle identification number on it, is designed to be attached to a motor vehicle and which:

(a) enables the motor vehicle to be identified for the purposes of registration under a law of any jurisdiction, or

(b) includes information relating to the manufacture of the motor vehicle or compliance with the national standards under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 of the Commonwealth.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

The expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers specialises in both traffic and criminal law.

Our lawyers therefore possess the necessary knowledge and understanding of these areas of law to enable you to get the best possible outcome in your “possess vehicle identification plate not attached to vehicle” case.

We are passionate about protecting our clients’ rights and have a proven track record of consistently achieving far better outcomes than other law firms in these types of cases.

Our lawyers will dedicate the time to carefully consider all the evidence and, where problems are identified, we will write to the police asking for the charges to be dropped on this basis.

Alternatively, if you are required to fight the matter in court, our traffic and criminal law experts will raise all evidence that supports your case, together with any possible defences, to maximise your chances of being found “not guilty.”

Our lawyers can also assist you in avoiding the harsh maximum penalties under the law should you wish to plead guilty to the offence.

In these cases, we can prepare compelling “sentencing submissions” which highlight positive factors such as your good character which reduce the seriousness of the offence.

No matter how serious the charges are, our advocates will fight hard to defend you so that you can move on with your life as quickly as possible.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book a FREE first conference with us to find out how we can help you win your case.