The Tampering with Identification Numbers crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you removed or altered a serial number on any tangible personal property (such as a vehicle’s VIN number) and tried to sell or offer it to someone.
TAMPERING WITH IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS ATTORNEY FAQs
Tampering with Identification Numbers is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 31 “Theft.”
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Learn more detailed information about the Tampering with Identification Numbers offense below.
The current Texas law defines the offense of Tampering with Identification Numbers in Penal Code Section §31.11 as follows:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) knowingly or intentionally removes, alters, or obliterates the serial number or other permanent identification marking on tangible personal property; or
(2) possesses, sells, or offers for sale tangible personal property and:
(A) the actor knows that the serial number or other permanent identification marking has been removed, altered, or obliterated; or
(B) a reasonable person in the position of the actor would have known that the serial number or other permanent identification marking has been removed, altered, or obliterated.
You can be charged with Tampering with Identification Numbers if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 31.11(a) as described in the section above have been met.
A conviction for Tampering with Identification Numbers is punished as a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors