How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 27692
Experience:  Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.
26798026
Type Your Traffic Law Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What would the charges be if a person were caught driving a

Customer Question

What would the charges be if a person were caught driving a car that is actually in another persons name with a license plate belonging to a different car? The owner moved out of the country, left the car in good faith that a friend would be paying for
it, this friend did not make any payments, this was over 4 years ago. There are at least 2 years of payments left on the car. The car has been sitting, recently this friend put a plate belonging to a different vehicle onto this car and is now driving it. would
the car be considered stolen by the finance company? What sort of charges would he encounter if he were stopped by police while driving this car? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
If the driver has permission to drive the car, then the car isn't stolen. The finance company can repossess the car due to non-payment (depending on whether the statute of limitations has expired), but the driver may be able to beat theft charges for the car itself. There would have to be some evidence that the person in possession of the car conspired with the owner to avoid paying for it, or it's a civil breach of contract issue.
With that said, they could still be charged with possession of stolen property for driving a car with stolen license plate if the plate on the car didn't belong to him. Or the state can charge him with a registration violation. If the car is not registered and insured, they'll also charged for lack of insurance. Those are misdemeanors, too.
Whenever there are multiple charges, a local attorney may be able to help negotiate a plea bargain where some are dismissed in exchange for a plea on others. If the driver cannot afford an attorney, the judge will appoint one for him at no cost.
If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.