Federal Defense Lawyer Explains Crime of Misusing DMV Information

Those who wish to obtain driver’s licenses are required to provide information to the Department of Motor Vehicles and to have that information on file so they can be identified and their driving record can be tracked. However, while motorists must provide information to the DMV, that information is supposed to be maintained and kept private so motorists do not have to worry about personal information being made publicly available.

Not only is the privacy of DMV records important because people generally do not want all of their personal details to be made public, but it is also essential that this information is maintained privately because the details on a driver’s license could potentially be useful for identity thieves to misuse and to steal a motorist’s identity.

Unfortunately, there are circumstances where DMV information is missed, improperly released or falls into the wrong hands. In some circumstances, this can actually result in federal criminal charges.

In fact, there is an entire chapter of the federal penal code that establishes a prohibition on the release and use of certain personal information from state motor vehicle records.

If you have been accused of violating the rules and regulations related to the confidentiality and appropriate use of DMV records, you need to understand what the specific elements of the federal crime are and what your options are for raising defenses. You need to ensure you have a skilled and experienced attorney providing you with representation as you deal with the accusations against you so you can fully understand the charges you are facing and develop the most appropriate response.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


LV Criminal Defense can help. Our federal defense attorneys provide representation to clients in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and surrounding areas and we can put our knowledge of federal laws on DMV records to use on your case.

You need an attorney with familiarity with the federal criminal justice system and a passion for fighting for the rights of clients, and our firm is the firm to turn to. You should give us a call as soon as you have been accused of wrongdoing in connection with DMV records so we can start working on a legal strategy appropriate to your situation.

Federal Laws Prohibiting the Use of Certain Information From State Motor Vehicle Records

Federal laws prohibiting the use of certain information from state motor vehicle records are found in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 123. There are a total of five statues within this Chapter that establish different rules when it comes to criminal misconduct related to the storage of DMV records.

The statutes also explain when a civil lawsuit can be initiated in connection with the misuse of DMV records. Civil cases can result in substantial monetary penalties, and plaintiffs have a lesser burden of proof in civil cases compared with prosecutors in criminal cases.
The statutes that apply to prohibit the release of certain records and personal information from the DMV include the following:

18 U.S. Code section 2721 – Prohibition on release and use of certain personal information from State motor vehicle records
18 U.S. Code section 2722 – Additional unlawful acts
18 U.S. Code section 2723 – Penalties
18 U.S. Code section 2724 – Civil action
18 U.S. Code section 2725 – Definitions

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Each of these statutes addresses different issues related to criminal and civil consequences for misusing DMV records. For example, 18 U.S. Code section 2721 stipulates that state DMV employees or contractors are not allowed to disclose any personal information or highly restricted personal information except for permissible purposes.

Permissible uses of DMV information are outlined in 18 U.S. Code section 2721(b), and include use by authorized government agencies; use in connection with motor vehicle safety; use in the normal course of business by legitimate businesses for limited purpose such as verifying the accuracy of personal information submitted to the business; use in connection with proceedings in federal, state or local courts or administrative agencies; use in research when the information is not published or disclosed; used by insurers; used to identify the owners of towed or impounded vehicles; and used in a limited number of other enumerated circumstances.

If those with access to DMV records make disclosures of information outside of circumstances where they are permitted to do so, penalties can be imposed under 18 U.S. Code section 123 with those penalties depending upon the nature of the violation.

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Getting Help From a Federal Defense Lawyer

When you have been accused of wrongdoing, you need to turn to an attorney who you can trust who understands how the federal criminal justice system operates and who can provide the representation that you deserve as you respond to charges.

In circumstances where you have been accused of improperly releasing or using information from DMV records, it is also important that your attorney understand how to help you to respond to a civil lawsuit so you can craft a comprehensive legal strategy that addresses all of the issues you face.

Accusations that you’ve misused DMV information could affect your career, could leave you vulnerable to civil and criminal penalties and could have other severe consequences that impact your future. Developing the right response is crucial and LV Criminal Defense will work closely with you to evaluate the evidence against you and choose the most appropriate plan for addressing the charges.

LV Criminal Defense can represent you in court or during plea negotiations and we know the laws of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 123 inside and out so we are ready to fight for you throughout your entire involvement within the criminal justice system.

If you live in California, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, or surrounding areas, we can represent you. To find out more about the help and support we can, give us a call today.