Las Vegas, NV asked in Criminal Law and Car Accidents for Illinois

Q: Can my friend stepmother press personal property damage charges on me? I was not the driver but the vehicle is mine.

My friend was the driver and hit her stepmother vehicle. The front fender has a minor dent but major scratches. I offered to pay for the damages because it was my vehicle even though I was not driving, my close friend was. Since I work part time and only make about 500.00 take home weekly I asked to make $400.00 payment installments until the amount of $1500.00 from the provided car estimate invoice was paid off. The father agreed but 19 days later the stepmother declined because it is her car and said I have 24 hours to come up with the remaining $1100.00 or she will press charges against me. The accident happened on 12/08/18 and I was contacted by the stepmother today 12/27/18 at 7:58pm. There was no police report filed regarding the accident because the father did not want to get the police involved for minor damage and because I was not driving. Is it true she can press charges against me or is she just trying to use a scare tactic. Please help, I really need legal advice!

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2 Lawyer Answers

Charles Candiano

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: I have no idea what you are asking. "Press charges" is a silly term that usually refers to someone to asking the State's Attorney to file minor criminal charges against someone. If that is what you mean, I assume you did not have insurance on the car and the stepmother wants to charge her daughter with Driving Without Insurance. You cannot be charged because you were not driving.

That said, you and your friend are BOTH liable for the damage. However, seeking criminal charges against her step-daughter is NOT going to get her car fixed.

William Wolf

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: If you get arrested, make no statement to the police other than your name.

Tell them in response to every question past your name that you want invoke your right to remain silent and you want to have your lawyer present during any police questioning.

If you feel like you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer, many offer free initial consultations so a fee can be set.

Hope this helps.

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