Legal Question in Criminal Law in Colorado

A friend gave me permission to drive her uninsured car while under the influence of alcohol. I crashed the vehicle it got a flat and I wrecked into a fence. I did get charged. Do I have to pay her for her vehicle out of pocket? Will she get charged with aiding and abetting ?

Asked on 4/22/20, 8:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Clifton Black Law Offices of Clifton Black

There is a claim regarding Negligent Entrustment of a Motor Vehicle. Typically this occurs when an owner of a vehicle allows an incompetent driver (could be a DUI driver) to drive the, and the incompetent driver cause injury to another person. This is not a crime in of itself but could lead to a civil suit against the owner.

The injured party would need to prove a claim of negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle, by showing that the driver was negligent, the owner owned the vehicle or had legal possession, the owner knew or should have known that the driver was not capable of safely operating the vehicle, and the driver's incompetence was a major factor in causing the injury.

In a criminal case where the DUI defendant is found guilty or accepts a plea, even to a lesser charge or a plea the ends in an eventual dismissal, the court will require restitution. In this situation the owner of the fence can file a claim and also the owner of the vehicle can file the claim. The court will not likely entertain any argument that the injured party should not be compensated through the criminal case by the driver, there could be an argument against the owner for contributory negligence, but the owner will likely argue that she had no idea the driver was too intoxicated or that she gave permission.

In a DUI case, there are important rights that the driver has that my expire if not exercised in a timely manner. Also, there are things a defendant can do to help out the discussions with a prosecutor in a criminal case. Our firm does offer free initial consultations. This will allow you to get a better understanding of your case, rights, evidence, and defenses. You can call our office at 719-328-1616 to set up a free consultation.

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Answered on 4/23/20, 8:29 am

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