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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33733
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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If I am keeping a companies equipment from them without their

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If I am keeping a companies equipment from them without their consent because they owe me money, can I get in trouble for that? I was told that the equipment is being held under a bank lien on a loan. They've come to my place of business several times to pick it up, but I won't let them have the equipment until they pay me. No, the equipment has nothing to do with the money they owe me. But if I let them get the equipment, I feel like I won't get my money they owe me. I've received a letter from their attorney telling me to release the equipment. They said that the value of the equipment is over S200,000 and if I don't release it, they are not only going to sue me but also have me criminally prosecuted. Can they do this???

JD 1992 :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

JD 1992 :

Yes, you can.

JD 1992 :

There are several potential criminal charges. The first would be hindering a secured creditor if the bank does have a lien.

JD 1992 :

The other is theft.

JD 1992 :

The law doesn't allow for you to retain someone else's property in a situation like this.

JD 1992 :

It is called "self help" and is absolutely prohibited.

JD 1992 :

If you want to retain the equipment you would have to hire a lawyer and have him ask the court for permission to retain it. However, it isn't likely the judge would allow it if there is no connection between what you are owed and the equipment.

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