Trouble for someone driving my car

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Trouble for someone driving my car

Someone commits a crime
while driving a vehicle
registered to me.Am I an
accessory?

Asked on November 16, 2016 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Criminal liability depends on intention or state of mind--that's why, for example, it's a crime if you intentionally run someone over, but only something you could be sued for it you accidentally back into their car. If you did not know or have some reasonable grounds to suspect this other person would commit a crime, you are not an accessory or accomplice, because you had no criminal intent. But if you know or reasonably should have known he was going to commit a crime (e.g. he said "I'm going to take the money I'm owed from John Doe whether he likes it or not" and then asked to borrow your vehicle), you could possibly be liable, since in that case, a reasonable person would suspect the person was borrowing the car to go rob John Doe.


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