My son took his roommates truck without permission……

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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My son took his roommates truck without permission……

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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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