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Tampering with Identification Numbers

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. Learn more detailed information about the Tampering with Identification Numbers offense below.

Have you been charged with Tampering with Identification Numbers? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Tampering with Identification Numbers is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property”, Chapter 31 “Theft.”

What is the law in Texas about Tampering with Identification Numbers?

The offense is described in Section 31.11 of the Texas Penal Code.

(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.

How can I be charged with Tampering with Identification Numbers?

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.

What is the punishment for Tampering with Identification Numbers?

A conviction for Tampering with Identification Numbers is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,1 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


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code Section 31.11(d)

Published by Criminal Defense Attorney on and last modified