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I Purchased a Used Car That I Did Not Know Was Stolen: What Now?

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I Purchased a Used Car That I Did Not Know Was Stolen: What Now?

I Purchased a Used Car That I Did Not Know Was Stolen: What Now?

Posted in Criminal Law
by Van Den Heuvel Law Office

Purchasing a vehicle should be an exciting time. Learning later that the car you purchased was stolen at the time, though, will greatly dampen that excitement. Instead of thinking about how much easier a vehicle will make your life, you will now be consumed with thoughts of what may happen to you and your future. What do you do if you have purchased a used car and then later found out it was stolen? Below our Michigan criminal defense lawyer explains.

How Do Stolen Cars Get Discovered?

When a vehicle is purchased from a dealership, the chances are fairly good that the car has not been stolen. A dealership will also take the appropriate steps, such as transferring the title into your name. When a car is purchased privately, though, things become much riskier.

In most cases, people discover the vehicle they purchased privately was stolen when they go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will see that the name registered to the vehicle identification number (VIN) does not match yours. In this case, they do not have any choice but to call the police. If you are pulled over and do not have the proper title, or the VINs do not match, they will arrest you for auto theft.

What to Do After Learning You Purchased a Stolen Vehicle

It is always critical to keep the bill of sale after purchasing a vehicle. If possible, keep it in the vehicle at all times so you can show it to law enforcement if they try to arrest you. If you can prove that you purchased the vehicle, it can greatly help your case, and the police may not even arrest you. If you do learn that the vehicle is stolen, you should never try to keep the car or resell it. If you do, you will likely be charged with possession of stolen property.

Ignorance is not usually a defense to criminal charges, particularly if you cannot prove that you were defrauded into purchasing a stolen vehicle. As such, once you learn that you purchased a stolen car, it is essential to speak to a Michigan criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer will investigate the case and collect evidence to prove your innocence. For example, a lawyer may learn the car was stolen in a location you have never been to, which could help prove your innocence.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Michigan Can Help With Your Case

If you have learned that you purchased a stolen vehicle, our Michigan criminal defense lawyer at Van Den Heuvel Law Office can help with your case. We know innocent people are charged all too often, and when they are, we have the necessary experience to help them beat their case. If you have learned you purchased a stolen vehicle, call us now or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.

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