Bandit Cab, Misdemeanor, LAMC 71.02(a), LAMC 71.03(d), Los Angeles Courthouse
LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – STING OPERATIONS
Sting operations are routinely conducted in Los Angeles by the Department of Transportation arresting Uber, Lyft, private limo, TCP, and drivers of unmarked cars. The department of transportation collectively refers to these cases as bandit cab cases. There are only nine taxicab companies that are authorized by the Department of Transportation to pick up passengers in the City of Los Angeles. These companies are the following, Bell Cab, Beverly Hills Cab, Checker Cab, City Cab, Independent Taxi, United Checker Cab Company, United Independent Taxi Unities Taxi of San Fernando Valley, and Yellow Cab. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation sets up sting operations and routinely flags down Lyft and Uber drivers. Whoever stops, they arrest and issue a misdemeanor citation for violating LAMC 71.02(a) and LAMC 71.03(d).
UBER AND LIFT TARGETED STING OPERATIONS
Undercover police officer’s will stand in the street, such as 6th and Figueroa, and pretend to be a customer. They will flag down an UBER driver and be very persistent in trying to get the UBER driver to give him or her a ride. If the person agrees, the undercover officer gives the signal, and motorcycle police officers will arrive and arrest the UBER driver for bandit cab. They never record these sting operations so it is your word against the undercover officers. Some possible defenses are, lack of understanding, miscommunication, wrong customer, and duty of common carrier.
LAMC 71.02(a) AND 71.03(d) – LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION BANDIT CAB ENFORCEMENT
Los Angeles Municipal Code Section (“LAMC”) 71.03(d) states that (d) “No person shall drive or operate any other type of vehicle defined in Section 71.00 without first having obtained a driver permit from the Board.” LAMC 71.02(a) also states the following: “(a) No person or corporation shall drive, operate or use, whether as owner, lessor, lessee or otherwise, any of the vehicles defined in Section 71.00 to pick up or attempt to pick up passengers within the limits of the City of Los Angeles, or allow or permit to be operated, driven, or used, whether as owner, lessor, lessee, or otherwise, any of the vehicles defined in Section 71.00 to pick up or attempt to pick up passengers within the limits of the City of Los Angeles unless a written vehicle permit for the operation of such specifically defined vehicles has been obtained from the Board; provided, however, that no vehicle permit shall be required for the operation of any vehicle under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a franchise granted by the City of Los Angeles.” Sting operations are routinely conducted and over a hundred arrests are made each month. The Department of Transportation usually conducts these sting operations in two fashions: 1. Respond to Craigslist advertisements under ride sharing postings and/or 2. pose as a prospective passenger while waiting to get the attention of a non-licensed taxi cab.
DEFENSES TO DISMISSING MISDEMEANOR CHARGES FOR BANDIT CAB CHARGES – LAMC 71.03(d) & LAMC 71.02(a)
There are several defenses in attempting to dismiss the misdemeanor charges for LAMC 71.03(d) and LAMC 71.02(a), commonly known as illegal vehicle for hire and bandit cab. Some of the most common defenses are reimbursement for gas, wait and return, continuous trip, rendering aid or assistance, or entrapment. If you have been arrested for operating as a bandit cab in the City of Los Angeles, you may be facing thousands of dollars in impound and court fees as well as having a misdemeanor on your record if you plead guilty. Our firm has routinely handles these types of cases and has the experience and reputation to put forth a solid defense and reduce, reject, or dismiss the case.
MISDEMEANOR CASE – LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT 48 IN CRIMINAL COURT’S BUILDING
Generally, the Defendant will have his car towed and will be issued a citation to appear at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center located at 210 West Temple, Los Angeles California 90012, Department 48. We will assist you in retrieving your car from impound to avoid additional fees as well as handle the criminal case. If you have been arrested for violating LAMC 71.02(a) and 71.03(d) and/or have had your vehicle impounded for driving as a “bandit cab,” call Attorney Arthur Khachatourians for a criminal defense consultation.