What is Michigan Odometer Fraud?
If you or someone you know is thinking of selling their old used car, or perhaps they buy old cars to fix them up and earn some extra money selling them, be aware of Michigan laws. One thing they should not be tampering with is – the Odometer. When selling a used car, it is very important to remember that the Odometer must always display the accurate mileage of the car and if service needs to be done or the odometer replaced then the mileage must remain the same, otherwise the seller may be charged with a serious form of fraud. Odometer fraud, also referred to as odometer rollback, is the illegal act of changing or altering the mileage readings on a vehicle to make it appear to have a lower total mileage. If you have been charge with Michigan Odometer Fraud, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
What qualifies as odometer fraud?
Examples of odometer fraud may involve:
- Disconnection of the odometer.
- Resetting the odometer in any way.
- Altering the numbers.
- Replacing the odometer from a vehicle without providing required notice.
- Advertise for sale, sell, use, install, or allow a device to be installed which causes the odometer to not display the accurate mileage
- Tampering, defacing, removing, or altering any notice placed on the car displaying the odometer mileage
Michigan Law requires disclosure of the actual odometer reading at the time of transfer or assignment of the vehicle’s title. Further, the seller must indicate if that reading is actual mileage, not actual mileage, or exceeds the maximum limit of the odometer (usually over 99,999 miles). This disclosure is not required if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 16,000 pounds, is not self-propelled, or is 10 years old or older. (MCL 257.233a). Michigan Odometer Fraud? To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
Charged with Michigan Odometer Fraud? What this would mean for you?
Violating this statute is a felony, people who are charged with odometer fraud face punishments of imprisonment for not more than 10 years and/or a $2,000 fine for each violation. If the violation is for a vehicle no more than three years after the vehicles model year that fine is increased to $4,000. Should someone be charged with the same violation within five years of a conviction of the same offense they could face up to 15 years in prison.
You can protect yourself from this type of fraud where the odometer is incapable of registering the accurate mileage then the odometer must be adjusted to read zero and a notice in writing shall be attached to the left door frame of the vehicle by the owner, or by their agent specifying the mileage prior to the odometer adjustment and the date on which it was serviced, replaced or repaired.
Why hire us for your Michigan Odometer Fraud matter?
Having handled numerous cases before, typically our attorneys know the prosecutor and the judge, and can anticipate the judge’s responses, understand how the prosecutor will want to proceed, and with that knowledge can negotiate the best deal for our clients in efforts of removing as much uncertainty from the legal justice system as possible.
Remember, judges have a tremendous amount of discretion when imposing your punishment. Without us, or another competent attorney, you may say or do the wrong thing, increasing your punishment. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were arrested is particularly helpful. That said, we regularly practice in the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw, Genesee, and St. Clair. For more information about Michigan Odometer Fraud, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.