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Thank you. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
First of all, you have no duty to report this. Even though you're the victim, you don't have to contact the police and are under no obligation to do so. The first conviction for driving without a license in the state of Georgia is a misdemeanor. A fine in the range of $500 to $1,000 may be imposed. Fines also apply in cases where defendants enter a nolo contendere (no contest) plea.
A criminal case could be started within 2 years of the incident.
Damage to property, in a civil matter, has a 4 year statute of limitations.
So you could sue him (if he did not pay) within 4 years of the damage, even though you would be barred from pursuing criminal penalties after 2 years.
But since you don't have an affirmative duty to report the incident, there's no "statute of limitation" to do so. Rather, the limitation is on the prosecution for bringing a case against him for driving without a license.
Understood. Thank you very much. My concern is that he may "forget" to continue paying for the damage.
You should get it in writing what he owes you, and keep good records of what he pays.
He should sign the agreement that he will reimburse you for the damage, and you can pursue it in civil court under a contractual theory if he does not pay.
By the way, can I force him to sell his boom-box, x-box, etc. to get money to help pay for the repairs?
(He is not the most responsible person I've met, obviously.)
Should I get the agreement notarized?
By "force", you could tell him that you don't care how he pays it, but if he doesn't, your only other recourse would be to take him to court, etc...
As for notarization, that is always nice to have, but is not necessary for a binding agreement.
The only thing that it does is make it far more difficult to allege that a signature was forged.
We also know he was drunk. Should I add that to the agreement and does it help me in any way?
(He also has a court hearing in a couple of weeks for disorderly conduct and possession of pot.)
(As you may tell, he is a great guy!)
The problem with drinking and driving is proving it. Now it could be included in a "statement of the facts" part of the agreement (that is the part at the beginning of a contract that says "Whereas on the night of MM/DD/YY John Doe was driving... "
So the statement could, potentially, be used as a confession, but that's hard to say for certain and many judges would throw it out as the confession was obtained as part of a deal, and not necessarily a "true" statement against interest...
Now if you can get him to "confess" that he was drinking and driving, that he was impaired, and that he was driving without a license, in writing and signed by him, you can say that so long as he abides by the contract, it will remain between you two.
But if he doesn't, then the courts would have to get involved.
OK. So, two separate documents. One for his confession and the other for the agreement to repay for the damages to the car, correct?
You could do it in two separate documents, or in one. That's up to you. Again, the contract is so that he'll pay for the repairs, and if he doesn't, you can take him to court for that. What's actually in the contract is up to you.
Thank you. This has been extremely helpful.
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Thank you. Btw, are you in GA, by any chance?
No, my office is in Texas, although as you can see I have familiarity with GA laws.
No problem. I just asked because we have been talking about wills, etc., since GA (or TX for that matter) recognize same-sex unions... Thank you so much for your help on this and have a great 4th of July!
Again, my pleasure, and to you as well!
I didn't see the "reply" box until now and sent you another "question".
I am interested in knowing if you could draft the agreement between my step-son and me. I would be happy to pay you for this service, of course.
Thanks and best regards,