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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16826
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I bought a car from a girl at work for my fiancee, i had started

Customer Question

I bought a car from a girl at work for my fiancee, i had started making payments on it to her until i paid it off and was able to get it, well my fiancee got locked up and she wouldnt refund the money that i had already gave her so i gave her the rest and got the car. she signed the title over to me and gave me papers from what look to be a bank stating that there was no lein on the vehicle, ok so i went to the S.O.S got my new title and sold the vehicle to the dealership with the best deal and signed the title over to them. Well that was about a month ago, today they called me and said that they sold the vehicle to someone but a repo guy came and tried to take their vehicle from. apparently the person either i or the girl i worked bought he car from ,had a lein still on the vehicle when she or the person she bought it from sold it. Well they said they were turning mny name over to authorities and what not, so im wondering whats going to happen and do i have anything to worry about?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
For a vehicle, the lien has to be noted on the title from the Department of Motor Vehicles. If there was no lien on the title then you have no problem since you took without notice. Here you do not have anything to worry about since you received a new title in yoru name.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
well like i said she gave me the signed title, and a paper stating that there was no lein on the vehicle, she said take all that to the secretary of state and i should be fine, well i was and they gave me a new title with my name on it which i signed over to the dealership and they paid me for the car and i went on about my way, but they said they were reporting it to the authorities and it has me worried but its not my fault because i had no clue it had a lein or i wouldnt have bought it from her and she gave me all the proper documents nad S./O.S excepted them, so do i call the police department or wait for them to contact me or what? can they issue a warrant for my arrest for this? shouldnt they be able to go back and see who was the original person who had the loan and sold the car?
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.
Here you do not need to lose any sleep. They may or may not contact you. You have no responsibility since you were without notice. I don't see how they can issue a warrant for your arrest unless you forged some documents.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
no i signed the title, thats all, the car didnt belong to me to forged anything, she sold it to me and gave me all the paper work i needed to take to the SOS
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Customer

Yes, the person who purchased the car from you can go after you to try to get his money back because you sold him a car that didn't have clear title. He can come at you civilly (and then you, in turn would have a cause of action against the person who sold you the car) and he could also try to come at you criminally for fraud, arguing that you knew or should have known that the title wasn't clear.

When I say he can proceed against you criminally, that doesn't mean he would have a winning case. It seems to me that you had every reason to rely on the documents that you had, especially when they went through the state without a hitch.

You should talk to a local lawyer -- someone in general practice who handles both criminal and civil litigation so that you can get some idea on how to protect yourself on both fronts. While it might be a good idea to file a police report against the woman who sold you a car to go on record somewhere as having been misled about the car and not having found out until it was too late, you shouldn't do that until you've run it by a lawyer

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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok but how can they come after me when the title cleared at SOS, shoudlnt all the paper work come back of the orignal person who the loan was made too and shouldnt they go after them because they sold the vehicle to me with documents stating that there was no lein on the vehicle? the girl who i bought he car from doesnt even work at the bar i work at anymore. im so lost right now but i dont want to be in any trouble and how will i know if they are trying to contact me and they dont have my number, i got married so i have a diffrent last name and i dont live at the address that i did when i sold the car?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Your buyer can come after you because you sold her the car. You, in turn can turn around and go after the woman who sold the car to you based on the fact that she should have known about the lien. If she bought the car and didn't know, then she can go after the one who sold it to her, and so on, up the food chain.

Remember I said that your buyer could bring charges. I didn't say that your buyer would be able to win. If you were sued civilly, your lawyer could bring the person who sold the car to you into the suit. If your buyer tries to press criminal charges, since you did nothing wrong, you should be acquitted.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok so what do i do now, do i tell me lawyer to contact the dealership or does my attorney contact the authorities? i actually cant afford a lawyer but i cant afford to go to jail either because i am currently in school and doing a program with at risk youth who live in my home until theyre ready and able to be independent on their own,so jail is not an option or having something like this on my record is not good either. i bought a car and sold a car and now i may be in court pleading my case because someone got over on me and now i have no way of contacting them or anything, i dont even remember what her name was, i only went by her entertainer name, so how could i bring charges against her?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Her name would be on the paperwork that you turned into the state. Your lawyer should be able to obtain it.

As nobody has done anything yet except made noise about reporting you, you just need to contact the lawyer and tell him what happened here and what your fears are. He will be able to tell you how to cover your tail. And if you get calls from your buyer, you can just say, "please call my lawyer." If detectives contact you, you definitely don't want to speak to them without consulting with a lawyer, who will probably want to be there with you if you give them any information.

Even though you did nothing wrong here, you do not want to speak to the police without a lawyer. You'd be amazed at how words can be distorted.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok one last question, i will accept.... should i be worried about going to jail? wil i have tro post a bond? or anything like that? i dont mind going to court as long as i dont have to go to jail or nothing like that because i know im not in the wrong, and also, do you think I WILL have to pay the dealership back the money that they gave me?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Your quickest way out might well be to pay the dealership their money and then sue the person you bought the car from in small claims court, where it would not cost you anything. But I wouldn't even do that without talking to a local lawyer. Quickest isn't always best.

I don't think you will have to worry about jail on this. It's the kind of crime for which, even if you were arrested and were actually guilty, you'd likely end up with an offer of probation. I also suspect that since the paperwork you got from the state is valid, the police may just tell the dealer that this is a civil matter.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.

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