If I rented 2 TV’s from rent a center but returned them broken, can I be arrested?

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If I rented 2 TV’s from rent a center but returned them broken, can I be arrested?

My fiance broke them and I stopped paying on them. They keep calling me and my mom also. They go to mom’s house looking for me. They tell her and or me that if I don’t call them or continue to pay. That they going to have me arrested even though they have their merchandise. Can they do this?

Asked on May 21, 2014 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you did not yourself deliberately break them or assist your fiance in breaking them, you should not face criminal liability: criminal liability is based on not just a criminal act, but also on having the requisite criminal intent. You may, of course, be sued for either the amount you still owe under the contract (since you breached it, by not  continuing to pay) or for the value of the TVs (since they are broken), whichever is greater; they could also sue your fiance (and if they sue you, you could potentially sue your fiance to get him to pay you any amounts which you have to pay the RAC, since your fiance was the one who broke them). Your finance could potentially face criminal liability, if he deliberately broke the TVs.


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