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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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I have a question concerning criminal law. My 19 year old

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I have a question concerning criminal law. My 19 year old son was with an individual last week who ask him for a ride. My son gave him a ride and on the way this individual asked him to stop at an apartment complex that was on the way. He did and this guy jumped out of my son's truck and threw a car stereo my son had in the back of his pickup through a back window of a car. My son had no knowledge this was going to happen. Afterward, this kid assaulted and attempted to rob my son. The police witnessed this and this kid was arrested and is now in jail. He had a prior warrant on him. Since then, the individual who owns the car with the shattered window has been contacting my son wanting a 400.00 payment for the window. My son told him he did not break it and had no idea the other kid was planning on doing so. The guy said the other kid is in jail and he can't get anything from him so he wants my son to pay for it or he is calling the police. Is my son liable for this damage and should he pay the guy?
Dear JACUSTOMER - This is not a criminal case since your son committed no crime. If the police were going to arrest him they would have done so at the time they arrested the other individual. Also, your son is not responsible for the intentional acts of other persons. So long as it cannot be shown that your son was somehow involved or knew of the plan to damage the other car there is no liability on your son's part and I see no reason that he should pay any damages. If the other guy calls the police I'm quite certain they will tell him this is a civil matter and if the other guy sues your son he can simply turn it in to his car insurance carrier and let them defend the suit. This is not something that would be covered by insurance but most policies provide for legal representation for any suit involving the operation of the vehicle. In any event, I see nothing that would make your son liable for this act based on these facts.
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