My son took his roommates truck without permission……

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My son took his roommates truck without permission……

To take another friend home and on the way back the truck broke down. His roommate had him arrested for joyriding and they are also demanding $27,000 for replacement. The truck 16 years old and is only worth at the most $9,000. Is the issue on the money a civil matter? This is his first time over getting in trouble and the prosecutor won’t work out a deal because the victim won’t take anything less than the $27,000. Am I wrong to think this is 2 separate issues the criminal charge of the Class A misdemeanor and the civil for the truck motor repairs. The prosecutor is keeping the whole thing as criminal. s this right?

Asked on September 20, 2019 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The prosecutor cannot force the victim to bring a civil legal action, even though you are right--the issue of compensation is more properly civil. Prosecutors only have power over the criminal case. And many prosecutors will not work out a plea (under their office's or court guidelines) without victim consent. So the procescutor cannot make the victim agree to a plea and instead sue in civil court, even though that is what should happen.


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