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Misrepresentation Law

What is misrepresentation?

Misrepresentation is a false statement made by one person to another in an attempt to encourage the second person into a contract. For example, if a person was selling a car that had mechanical issues but the person claims that the car is in great shape, would be a form of misrepresentation. If misrepresentation can be proven, usually the person that has been affected by the misrepresentation will be compensated. This generally depends on the type of misrepresentation that is presented. If a person is unaware of a defect when stating the item is of good quality, this may not be considered intent to misrepresent. Below are a few of the more commonly asked questions about misrepresentation law.

How serious is a charge for misrepresentation of age and possession of fake ID?

Case details: I am 18 and I am being charged in New Hampshire with misrepresentation of age, attempt to purchase alcohol, possession of fake ID.

A charge like this can possibly cost you over $1,000 and a stay in jail up to one year if the act is charged as a violation. However you could end up paying $2,000 in fines and/or up to one year in jail if the act is charged as a misdemeanor. So, these charges can become very serious if you are convicted.

You should hire an attorney to assist you through the court hearing and help you avoid a criminal record following you through life. It may be possible to arrange a special type of probation that allows your criminal charges to be removed upon successful completion of the probation. During the probation, you would attend an alcohol program, perform community service (the amount of community service usually depends upon the seriousness of the punishment) and remain on probation for a set period of time.

Whether or not you will be offered a deal like this will depend upon the prosecutor and how he/she wishes to proceed with the case. If the case goes to court and you go to the arraignment without an attorney, you should plead not guilty and request a public defender.

Is it legal for a person to signs a settlement and mutual release agreement and later threaten to take me to court if I don't pay the rest of the money?

These types of threats are illegal in many states. What the person is doing may be a criminal act in itself. You should be free of any civil liability if the person signed the settlement and mutual release agreement. As long as you didn't intend to misrepresent the investment at the time that the person signed the agreement, you should be ok. However, a judge may not consider the document a valid agreement based on the situation.

Since you invested your own portion of money on the investment, it would appear that you had faith in the investment and were not trying to misrepresent the validity of the investment. Of course, this will depend upon what you promised the other investors at the time of the agreement.

If a deputy misrepresents himself as a detective on an affidavit to obtain a search warrant, would this be illegal?

Generally, a police officer would be within their rights to request a search warrant, regardless if they are a detective or not. Proving material misrepresentation would be hard just because an officer called himself/herself a detective instead of an officer in order to gain a search warrant. This would be an odd situation, but not illegal. In order for you to prove intent on the officer's behalf, you would have to prove that the officer requested something beyond his/her authority.

If a person sells an RV falsifying its condition, is this misrepresentation? 

Case Details: The RV was sold sight unseen under claims that it is in excellent shape, when in fact it has many problems. How would we get our money back?

When you sue the person who sold the RV, you will have to sue them in the state that you made the purchase. Usually, when buying something that is used, you are buying "as is" and the responsibility is yours to determine whether or not the used RV was a good buy. However, if you can prove that the people misrepresented the facts about the condition of the RV and you were relying upon their good faith, you may have grounds to sue the people for misrepresentation and/or fraud.

Misrepresentation can cause financial loss for an individual if the person believed the product that they purchased was of good quality. However, misrepresentation can come in different forms. If you feel that you are a victim of misrepresentation or that you may have misrepresented the facts and are facing legal suit, you should contact an Expert on the matter to gain legal insight of your rights.

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