You probably didn’t realize it was such a big deal to flick a bit of cigarette ash out of your car window, or on the sidewalk while you were out for an evening stroll…
Until you got cited by an officer under VC 23111 and realized there are actually some pretty severe consequences for such a small, seemingly insignificant act.
23111 VC – What are the Consequences?
For a first offense, you are looking at getting roughly $400 in fines and 8 hours mandatory community service, if convicted. Kind of harsh don’t you think?
VC 23111 has pretty severe consequences for this type of offense; even though this offense is only an infraction, the increased penalty of 8 hours community service is to strongly dissuade drivers and pedestrians from causing fire hazards. Further, cigarette butts are very small and hard to clean up, so the intent behind the harsh penalty is to put a stop to littering.
23111 VC – What if My Cigarette Butt Wasn’t Lit?
It doesn’t matter if you were just flicking ash from your cigarette, or even if you threw a cigarette butt on the ground that was already extinguished. Unfortunately, either scenario will be grounds for a conviction under 23111 VC.
What Types of Litter Does 23111 VC Apply To?
VC 23111 applies to cigarettes and cigars alike (whether lit or not), matches, and any flaming or glowing substance. So if even if you accidentally dropped a cigarette or cigar from your pocket, in theory you could still be convicted under this section because you threw or “discharged” the substance onto the ground. It is a strict liability offense, meaning there is no intent element required to be found guilty of the charge.
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