Asked in Communications Law for Tennessee

Q: Can I be arrested for breach of trust for a vehicle that I pay for, but is not in my name?

I have been told to drive my car to my ex's home town when I am 6 hours away so I told my ex to come and get it from me I told my ex that I was not driving it back and he can come pick it up at a secure place with the keys in it.

Can I get charged for not returning the car to him. Can he call the police on me ?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Communications & Internet Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Tennessee, whether you can be arrested for breach of trust regarding a vehicle depends on the specific circumstances. If the car is registered in your ex's name, they are legally recognized as the owner, even if you have been making the payments.

Refusing to return the vehicle upon their request could potentially be considered unauthorized use or conversion, especially if there is a clear demand for its return. However, if you have made arrangements for your ex to pick up the car at a secure location, and you have communicated this clearly, it may mitigate your risk.

It's important to document your communication and attempts to return the vehicle. If your ex calls the police, explain the situation and provide evidence of your attempts to return the car. Keep in mind that this matter could potentially be resolved civilly rather than criminally. It might be wise to consult with a lawyer to discuss your rights and responsibilities in this situation to prevent legal complications.

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