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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12778
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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I have allowed my son to borrow my vehicle in the past and

Resolved Question:

I have allowed my son to borrow my vehicle in the past and just recently he took my jeep out while I was asleep. The police called me to let me know that my vehicle was going to be seized. From what I gather Tennessee law states that if a multiple dui offender is caught operating a motor vehicle under the influence they can seize it, even if it isn't their vehicle. My son was taken into custody for his third dui offense driving my jeep. When I tried to get my it back they told me the only way I could was to have him charged with grand theft auto. I have heard from a friend that in Tennessee if you have ever let the the person who allegedly stole your car at any period in time borrow your car for any reason they would not then be guilty of theft. I ask because I am considering having my son charged with grand theft auto to get my car back as long as I know there is a legal premise to have that charge dismissed in court.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Alex J. Esq. :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

Alex J. Esq. :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

sorry I took so long I had some tech issues

Customer:

Are you still there Alex?

Alex J. Esq. :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

Yes

Alex J. Esq. :

Welcome to JustAnswer.com

Alex J. Esq. :

It appears we had some technical difficulty with the chat mode.

Alex J. Esq. :

Unfortunately, you are in a very difficult situation here.

Alex J. Esq. :

Did you give permission to your son to take your vehicle at the time he was stopped and arrested for a 3rd DWI?

Customer:

no

Alex J. Esq. :

How did your son obtain the key for your car?

Customer:

He grabbed them off the kitchen table

Alex J. Esq. :

Does your son reside with you?

Customer:

No he was on an extended visit from out of state

Alex J. Esq. :

When did you find out that your son had possession of the keys and your vehicle?

Customer:

I was woken up late in the evening when my daughter called me and told me thta my son was in county for a dui. it was then I looked outside and realized my jeep was gone

Alex J. Esq. :

Thank you for that follow up.

Customer:

sure

Alex J. Esq. :

Unfortunately, if you do file a criminal complaint that your son stole your car, he will be charged with felony grand theft auto and the fact that you permitted your son borrow your car before, would not really help your son to get the charge dismissed.

Alex J. Esq. :

Does this make sense?

Alex J. Esq. :

Basically, if you file the report, you will also be subpoenaed to testify against your son at his criminal trial.

Customer:

what about a lesser crime like joyriding?

Alex J. Esq. :

That would not generally be an option, under the facts you have described.

Customer:

so in the end is it in any way possible to get my car back?

Alex J. Esq. :

Well, basically, since your son used your vehicle and was caught with his 3rd DWI, basically your vehicle would be subject to seizure, unless you are willing to go forward and pursue grand larceny auto against your son.

Alex J. Esq. :

Is your vehicle fully paid for?

Customer:

yes

Alex J. Esq. :

What is the market value of your vehicle?

Customer:

approximately 4500.00

Alex J. Esq. :

Well, you can hire a local criminal defense attorney to review the situation and to see if there is any possible option to convince the court to release your vehicle, however the legal fees can be close or more than the value of your vehicle.

Alex J. Esq. :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

so is that it?

Alex J. Esq. :

Unfortunately, it appears that in a situation similar to your the options are very limited.

Alex J. Esq. :

I am sorry to give you this unfavorable answer, but I have professional obligation to provide JustAnswer.com customers with correct information, even when my answer is not favorable to the customer and unfortunately I don't have any way of changing the law.

Alex J. Esq. :

Do you have any related follow up questions?

Customer:

Thank you for the explanation

Alex J. Esq. :

I am sorry once again for your difficult situation and I do wish you the best of luck!

Alex J. Esq. :

I wish you the best of luck.

Please click on the "Excellent Service" feedback, so I can receive credit for my answer.

Bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, but are not required.

Customer:

just one more question... do I have a right to the contents of the vehicle?

Alex J. Esq. :

Yes.

Alex J. Esq. :

You can ask the court to return contents of your vehicle, as long as they are not being held for evidence and there is nothing illegal in the vehicle.

Customer:

Thank you. I have no more questions for you. In spite of the circumstances you have been a great help and you have very likely saved me a great deal of effort and money. Have a great night.

Alex J. Esq. :

I appreciate your kind words and I do wish you the best of luck and God bless you!

Alex J. Esq. :

I wish you the best of luck.

Please click on the "Excellent Service" feedback, so I can receive credit for my answer.

Bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, but are not required.

Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12778
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
Alex J. Esq. and 9 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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