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I am being called an threatened with a warrant for arrest an charges with felonies from a rental company is this right?

Lakeland, FL |

I rented a rug an two pictures from Arron rentals .. I lost my job an couldn't pay .. So , as they charged my account off .. I just recently gave them back the rug an pictures an they gave me a receipt of surrender.. A third party representing arrons is calling threatening me with a warrant for my arrest for two felonies ..They will not stop calling me an they left a detailed message on my mothers voice mail saying i was going to be arrested within 48 hours ..I don't know what to do .. Will I be arrested even if i have returned the items?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Unfortunatly you can be arrested even though you returned the property and this is clearly a civil not criminal matter. In Florida companies like the one you mentioned have been able to convince Leo's and prosecutors to arrest and file theft or conversion charges under similar circumstances.
Make no mistake a large number are not prosecuted because the state attorneys feel like these companies are "gaming" the system by using the criminal courts as civil collection agencies. I would explain next time you've retained an attorney who will be happy to speak to the detective assigned to the case.
Save yourself some aggravation retain an experienced criminal defense attorney in your town to help you.

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Posted

You should report this to the agency regulating collection agencies in your state. You may want to talk to a personal injury or debt relief lawyer about this (but not about bankruptcy). In Wisconsin it is a crime to threaten someone with criminal prosecution to collect a civil debt. That is what this sounds like, but I do not know that the law is the same in Florida.

You may still owe the money but you haven't described any crime.

Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. I am a Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services. Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin http://addbalance.com Talking to the Police - Advice from Lawyers and Police: http://addbalance.com/police.htm

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Posted

It is possible you could be arrested, but this really is a civil matter. I'll give you two free bits of advice. First, get an attorney that will fight for your rights now before this becomes a criminal matter. Second, save ALL receipts and other papers related to this matter as it will become very useful for either a civil or criminal matter. You may also want to call the consumer protection agency to report those harassing calls, but talk to an attorney first.

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Posted

The theft statute is very broad and makes it a crime to deprive somebody of their property, but also to "attempt" to deprive somebody of their property, and even to "temporarily" deprive somebody of their property. So if you were even late bringing the property back, technically, you violated the statute. You should hire a lawyer to try to negotiate this matter so that you are not charged with a crime. You should call my office about this at the link attached.

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Posted

Yes, you could face criminal charges out of this, but it is clearly more of a civil issue than a criminal matter. Based on the threatening nature of the telephone calss, you need to hire an attorney.

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Posted

Based on the limited information you provide it is hard to provide an answer. Generally, it is unlawful and a violation of the fair debt collection practices act to threaten criminal prosecution to collect a civil debt. However, Florida does have a statute which addresses the failure to return rented property. My gut feeling is this is a collection agency acting inappropriately however you should still consult with counsel.

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