How Recreating “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Can Result in a Lifetime of Trouble
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the top-grossing film in 1986, is a comedy classic that is still shown frequently on TV today. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, his girlfriend Sloane and best friend Cameron as they skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago.
The fictional Bueller has inspired many real-life people to take a “day off” from school, work and other commitments. Though the characters get away with their antics, they could have faced serious charges if they were arrested for their shenanigans. They include:
Grand Theft Auto (California Penal Code Section 487(d)(1))
Bueller starts his journey by convincing Cameron to take his father’s classic 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder convertible for the day. They may have looked good in the car, but grand theft auto does not look good on your record.
Under California Penal Code Section 487(d)(1), it is illegal to steal a car permanently or for a substantial period of time. Depending on the circumstances of your case and prior criminal record, grand theft auto can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
A misdemeanor grand theft auto conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. However, grand theft auto is rarely charged as a misdemeanor. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years in county jail and a $10,000 fine.
Joyriding (California Vehicle Code Section Vehicle Code 10851)
Once Bueller, Sloane and Cameron arrive in downtown Chicago, they leave the Ferrari with two parking garage attendants, who promptly take it for a joyride.
Under California Vehicle Code Section Vehicle Code 10851, it is illegal to take someone else’s car and drive it without his or her consent. A first-time offense for joyriding is charged as a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $5,000 fine.
False Impersonation (California Penal Code Section 529)
Bueller claims that he is Abe Froman, “The Sausage King of Chicago,” to get a table at a fancy restaurant. While Bueller’s exchange with the host of the restaurant provided plenty of laughs, false impersonation is no laughing matter in the state of California.
Under California Penal Code Section 529, it is illegal to falsely assume the identity of another person in order to gain a personal benefit or cause harm to the other person. Depending on the circumstances of your case and your past criminal history, false impersonation can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony under Penal Code Section 529.
A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $10,000 fine. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
Conspiracy to Commit Odometer Fraud (United States Code 49 Section 32703(4))
On his way home, Bueller realizes that over a hundred miles have been added to the Ferrari’s odometer thanks to the parking attendants’ joyride. The friends go home and jack up the rear wheels of the car and run it in reverse in an attempt to restore the Ferrari’s miles to where they were at the beginning of the day.
Though they do not succeed, conspiracy to commit odometer fraud is a federal crime. Under United States Code 49 Section 32703(4), it is illegal to conspire to reset or alter an odometer to change mileage with the intent to defraud. Odometer tampering is a felony and is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine, which will depend on the circumstances of your case.
Damage or Destruction of Property (California Penal Code Section 12022.6)
The classic Ferrari meets an unfortunate end when Cameron accidentally kicks the convertible off the jack, causing the Ferrari to roll backwards and crash into a ravine. This would constitute a damage or destruction of property enhancement to the grand theft auto charge.
Under California Penal Code Section 12022.6, it is illegal to take, damage or destroy any property during the commission of a felony. The court may impose an additional term to be served consecutively with the initial grand theft auto sentence, as well as additional fines depending on the value of the property loss. For a car worth over $10 million, you would risk a sentence of four years in prison for the destruction of the Ferrari. This sentence would be in addition to the maximum three-year jail term for a grand theft auto charge, totaling to a possible sentence of seven years.
Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is facing a charge for any of the crimes depicted in the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” it is critical that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience in handling all types of criminal cases in Southern California. Our attorneys can fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you live or work.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation or fill out our contact form online. We will be there when you call.