If my husband reports the car stolen and we are married but the car is in his name can I be arrested?

My husband moved from Texas to NC and took
our son. He reported that I stole his car and
text me a form that says I have to appear in
court in NC for auto theft. Is this legit? If I don’t
go what will happen? What can I do?

Asked on July 5, 2016 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, it's not theft to steal something in which you legally have an ownership interest, including marital property.  It's called asserting a property interest in the marital property.... not theft.
With that in mind, however, that doesn't mean your husband was truthful about the status of anything if and when he spoke to the police.  The document you have could be valid or it could be fake.  Usually, law enforcement will at least attempt to reach out to you when you are being investigated for some type of criminal offense with civil overtones.
So, you need to take the document that he sent you and find an attorney that is licensed in the state where he claims it was issued... and let the attorney review it for authenticity.  From there, they may even be able to assist you by communicating your most basic defense... which is, as a spouse, you have an ownership interest in the car so the allegation are false/incorrect.


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