In Massachusetts, it is illegal to attach, or permit to be attached, wrong license plates to a vehicle in order to conceal identity. There are three elements of this crime which the Commonwealth must prove against you beyond a reasonable doubt, namely: 1. That you attached the plate in question to a motor vehicle, or you permitted it to be attached; 2. That the plate in question was not assigned to that particular vehicle by the registry of motor vehicles 3. That you did so with the intent to conceal that motor vehicle.
The penalty for a conviction is up to $100 in fines and/or up to 10 days in jail, in addition to probation, license suspension, points on your driving record and a criminal record.
It is important to understand that this is a criminal misdemeanor traffic offense, as opposed to a civil minor traffic violation. As a result, it is taken more seriously and the potential consequences are more severe.
Are there Defenses to Attaching Wrong Plates in Massachusetts?
The easiest defense to this charge is to deny intent to conceal the motor vehicle, or even that you knew that plate attached was not the correct, assigned one. Absent an independent witness seeing you attach the plate or an admission by you, it is obviously difficult for the district attorney handling your case that you intentionally attached, or allowed the attachment of, a wrong plate in order to conceal identity. However, a charge of Attaching Wrong Plates to Conceal Identity is usually related a car theft or an unregistered motor vehicle, as these tend to imply motivation for intentionally attaching the wrong plate.
What you Need to Do if You Have Been Charged With Attaching Wrong Plates
If you have been charged with this offense, it is important to contact an experienced motor vehicle criminal defense attorney right away. An experienced attorney can help you get the best possible outcome for your attaching wrong plates case in Massachusetts.