Can I be arrested or taken to court if I took my car from the mechanic’s after repairs without paying for them??

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Can I be arrested or taken to court if I took my car from the mechanic’s after repairs without paying for them??

My car was in the shop for repairs. I went to pick it up and was told that everything was fine in reference to the

bill in which I came to pay. The guy gave me the keys and the invoice and again said I was fine, so I left. Now,almost a month later, I received a text stating that they spoke with a detective and will push the issue if I don’t pay. I thought it was paid being that it wasn’t is it my fault or the person who gave me the keys and paperwork?

Asked on June 7, 2017 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you pay now, explaining the nature of the oversight, you should be fine. But if knowing that it is not being paid by anyone else, you refuse to pay, you would be guilty of theft of services ("stealing" the work they did) and could certainly be sued for the money and possibly face charges. You now know that the repairs were not paid for and that you had no right to get them for free.  If you believe that someone else (e.g. an insurer) should have paid, you should most likely pay yourself to avoid liability while seeking reimbursement from the one you feel should have paid.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you pay now, explaining the nature of the oversight, you should be fine. But if knowing that it is not being paid by anyone else, you refuse to pay, you would be guilty of theft of services ("stealing" the work they did) and could certainly be sued for the money and possibly face charges. You now know that the repairs were not paid for and that you had no right to get them for free.  If you believe that someone else (e.g. an insurer) should have paid, you should most likely pay yourself to avoid liability while seeking reimbursement from the one you feel should have paid.


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