Accident occurred on 10/23 we don't know the details of the injured party or how many people were involved they will not give us any information, but said that my mother can not have her car back, she was unaware that he took her car she was sleeping and he took the keys, should I mention he is 51 yrs old and was listed as a driver on her insurance, what can we do to avoid civil charges by the other party involved, my brother does not have ownership of anything, no job, but my mother has homes and she is afraid they will go after her homes, because it was her car, and under her insurance, hat can she do to protect her homes now
General Practice Lawyer
You will probably get the car back, but not until officials are done building and then prosecuting their case.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
Many states have innocent party car owner protection provisions.
Your mother should consult with an attorney who does defense work for personal injury cases. They will know what to do to try to shield her assets from being exposed to any potential lawsuits.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It is possible that the car will eventually be returned. Your mother can speak to your brother's criminal lawyer or hire one for herself to speak to the prosecutor and the police. She should check her insurance to see if there is enough coverage to cover the potential liability for the possible lawsuit. There is a danger that an award above the amount of coverage could endanger her other assets. Good luck.
This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.
Its a toss-up. If there is a a conviction, the ADA will likely seek forfeiture. Also, forfeiture can be made part of any plea, prior to accepting a disposition.
Eventually she can.
Criminal Defense Attorney
From your post I take it this is a NYC arrest. The decision of whether to seek civil forfeiture is up to the NYPD; not the district attorney. In my experience in NYC third-party owners almost always get the cars back. Even most defendants will on a first (and sometimes even second) offense. Assuming the police are not seeking forfeiture you may be able to get the car back before the criminal case is over. The DA will usually enter into a stipulation with the driver stating that there was nothing mechanically wrong with the vehicle before issuing a DA's release. The police will not give back the car without either a DA's release or a final certificate of disposition.