As part of our on-going education of the California SMOG check and STAR program community, we’re publishing some short Q&A on various topics concerning possible Bureau of Automotive Repair issues. This post focuses on the controversy surrounding BAR97 vs. OIS.
- Remember: every situation is unique, and nothing on our blog or website should be construed as legal advice. Affected parties are urged to consult an attorney!
Q. If my tech makes mistakes, for example using the wrong equipment BAR97 vs. OIS, is that potentially a criminal charge?
We do not see criminal charges in these circumstances. Since the BAR97 includes the OBDII based OIS testing protocols, they would be laughed out of court if they filed criminal charges in these circumstances.
Q. Can I go to jail if I am being pursued with a criminal action by the BAR?
Yes. The penal code violations in these cases are almost always felonies with a sentence of over one year per count.
Q. What does a “forged instrument” mean in layperson’s terms?
The charges we see in these cases are Penal Code § 115, Penal Code § 502, Penal Code § 550, Vehicle Code §4463.
Penal Code §115(a) – (a) This is generally in regards to allegedly false Smog Certificates or false Brake and Lamp Certificates. The DA would be alleging the certicates were fraudulently issued as the vehicles should not have passed either the smog or brake inspections. These are the “forged instruments.
Penal Code §502(C)(1) is generally the code section denoting the use of a computer in the commission of a crime – accessing a computer to commit fraud. The DA will allege the EIS system was accessed to perpetrate a fraud (perform an illegal Smog Check Inspection) by way of clean piping or clean plugging.
Penal code § 550 is generally the default code section for alleged insurance fraud for auto body repair facilities. This includes allegations of repairing parts as opposed to replacing them, failure to perform certain repairs as stated on the estimate of record, etc.
Vehicle Code § 4463(a) is filing a false registration document with the Departement of Motor Vehicles. As the certificate is electronically sent to the DMV, this allegation concerns the certicates use in procuring registration.