Legal Question in Criminal Law in South Carolina

What is best angle to defend a breach of trust charge relating to a vehicle. The person filing the charges loaned the vehicle in lieu of work at their property as they were being paid less than minimum wage. His understanding was that he could use the car to look for more work and this was confirmed by e-mail. When the owner could not contact him for a few days because his phone was out of credit she filed breach of trust charges. He was still in the same city and had no intention of not returning the vehicle.

Asked on 8/26/14, 1:28 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Johnston Law Offices of Robert J. Johnston

I don't know. It would only seem reasonable that the owner of the car and the person arrested must have discussed how long he could use the car. You didn't mention that, so its hard to answer your question. If feasible, I would argue that he was within the time period discussed, which if successful, would negate any allegations of Breach of Trust.

Plus, I don't have the necessary information to form an opinion, but it only seems reasonable that a person would only loan a car to someone that they could contact or at least get a message to, other than just having a cell phone number. Surely they had a mutual friend, or she knew where he lived, or had some other means of contacting him.

I've been defending criminal cases for 20 years and I can tell you that one, often there's little things to a case that can make a big difference. And two, we usually need all of the details in order to provide the best possible defense. If I had the case, I'd want to know how long they knew each other, if she had ever loaned him anything in the past, if there were any witnesses to any part of this situation, etc.

Robert J. Johnston

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Answered on 8/26/14, 1:42 pm

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