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Am a grandmother am housing a 26 year old granddaughter who…

Am a grandmother am...

Am a grandmother am housing a 26 year old granddaughter who would be homeless, was arrested for petty theft,and also received a ticket for a DUI.

Lawyer's Assistant: Do you have any upcoming court dates on the charges?

Question is if I claim her as a dependent on my tax forms can I be held accountable for her criminal behavior??

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes, she lies often, do not know if she has pending court dates. She is 26, doesn’t work.

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Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/23/2018
Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 461
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
Verified

Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

I am so sorry to hear that you are having issues with your granddaughter.

So first understand that just because someone that lives with you commits a crime does not mean that you, just for allowing them to live there, are liable or responsible for her crimes.

For instance the DUI, if you were not with her, candidly, even if you were, you could not be held to be responsible for her driving a car. Likewise, you could be held accountable for her stealing something.

So from that standpoint you are likely ok.

However, her living there and you providing for her could potentially cause some issue for her. If she were to steal something and bring it into your house. Police or law enforcement could potentially enter your home with a search warrant to search for evidence of criminal activity. They could, with a warrant, enter your home to arrest her.

You mentioned that your granddaughter lies. Say she brought home stolen goods and the police came looking for them and found them. If your granddaughter said the stolen goods were not her's, but your's, that could cause problems.
The same if she brought drugs home.

So bot***** *****ne just because she is living there does not automatically mean that you could be criminally responsible for her, but if she brings something back to your home, as it is your home, you could be in the cross hairs.

The decision you may need to make is whether she stays and if she does, are you able to accept the risks.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 461
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
Verified
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Was going to put her on tax form as a dependent,after reading your response that may cause a liability issue for me.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks Sean K., my question and concern is this if I claim her as a dependent on my taxes and she commits other criminal acts can that create legal problems for me ?

Fortunately claiming someone on your taxes does not open you to criminal liability if she were to commit a crime. That would not happen. So long as you are eligible to claim her that will not cause problems. The real concern is if she brings the criminal activity to your home. That could potentially cause problems.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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