Can my mother be arrested for driving shoplifter…

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my mother be arrested for driving shoplifter…

Police came to my mother’s house today asking questions about when she took a neighbor to Walmart. apparently this person has been shoplifting from there and my mother has drove her there, staying in the car she is 69yo and disabled. can she be charged in connection with the neighbor’s crimes?
We live in nc
Thank you,

Asked on July 30, 2017 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether there is reason to think that your mother knew this person would or was reasonably likely to shoplift. Criminal charges are based on having criminal intention--that's why accidentally knocking someone down the stairs can get you sued but not jailed, but deliberately throwing them down the stairs is a crime; the difference is the intention. Only if there is reason to think that your mother was intentionally assisting (by driving) in a crime could she be charged. That will depend on what she and the neighbor says about what your mother knew, why the went, etc.

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