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Son 16 arrested for taking dad's car

(21 Posts)
HeavenK76 Fri 28-Feb-14 02:40:08

My silly 16 year old took my dh's car out at night while we were sleeping.
He was arrested with two other friends in the car. Caught at around 4.30am and released at 6pm with 3 charges, driving without license, driving without insurance and lying about his ID when arrested.
He has to appear in court on 7th of March.
Any idea what to expect??
Also would it be useful to get him a lawyer and would he get one for free

TIA

SavoyCabbage Fri 28-Feb-14 03:36:46

What is his defence going to be? He's guilty surely!

HeavenK76 Fri 28-Feb-14 03:39:59

just the fact really that he's made a very stupid mistake and he's very sorry about it
don't know if that's really gonna help him tho

Hels20 Fri 28-Feb-14 06:30:47

Surely he would have had a lawyer with him when interviewed and charged?

Not sure if you can get the lying about ID charged but much better to just have the 2 driving offence convictions (as house insurers/employers etc wouldn't care about these).

He would surely have been given contact details of his solicitor - I think, after 16, he would be assessed for legal aid on his own income. So he should get free advice.

Poor you. Silly thing to do but we all do silly things in our youth and thank goodness he wasn't drinking.

Hels20 Fri 28-Feb-14 06:31:27

Sorry - should have said "lying about ID dropped" not "charged".

flow4 Fri 28-Feb-14 07:00:10

Because of his age, he must legally have been offered legal respesentation when he was interviewed. He may have turned that down. He must legally have had a 'responsible adult' with him when interviewed; I don't think he can turn that down. That person should have stopped him refusing a solicitor. The details should be on the charge sheet and he should have a copy.

You can find out likely sentences on the CPS website. He will certainly get a driving ban. He is likely to get something between a community service order and a custodial sentence depending on his attitude, pleas and any previous convictions.

You are in a tricky position, because you and/or DH are the victims since it was your car. This means you are not allowed to be the 'responsible adults' for your son and you have limited access to information.

He is very lucky. He could have killed someone or he could be dead. That has happened to several young men around here.

IDontDoIroning Fri 28-Feb-14 07:27:58

My 16 yo does silly things. It's never involved stealing mine or my dhs car. He committed several serious criminal offenses.
This is a very serious offense what if he had had an accident and damaged the car, or injured someone or worse.
I can't believe the posters who are agreeing that it is nothing more than youthful folly.

BeckAndCall Fri 28-Feb-14 07:34:04

Hels. - I'm not convinced your advice on employers/insurers not being bothered about the offences is right ( sorry OP) - these don't count as the 'minor driving convictions' that fall into those categories. There are a whole list of them and I don't recall that driving without insurance is included and I don't even know what the offence for driving under 17 would be ?
Perhaps a lawyer could advise.....

Stricnine Fri 28-Feb-14 07:42:21

I'm with IDDIroning.. this is not some sily prank to be laughed off... he needs to realise how horribly badly this could have gone. He's lucky in some ways he chose a family car and not some random one - but either way as well as the driving offences, this is theft...

You don't say what country you are in so it's hard to offer advice on the legal representation, but you do need to get some legal advice for him or post this in the legal sectional get some proper information.

JeanSeberg Fri 28-Feb-14 07:45:51

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/v_to_z/youth_offenders/#a01

Have a look at the Crown Prosecution Service website, specifically the area relating to Youth Offenders.

You definitely need to get legal advice and a lawyer to represent him. Also go through the charges with a fine toothed comb so that you know exactly what you're up against here.

I presume he's also being heavily punished at home?

Hels20 Fri 28-Feb-14 07:49:49

Becks and Call - my incredibly stupid cousin was caught drinking and driving when he was 18. He needed to live with me for 6 months when he was 28. I had to call up my house insurer and disclose the fact of his DUI conviction and they said that it didn't matter as it was a "road traffic" offence. Hence - I would have thought driving without insurance or licence might fall to be treated in the same way. Of course, I might be wrong but I don't think so - at least on the basis of the discussion I had with my insurer (who was a major insurer) 2.5 years ago.

IDontDoIroning Fri 28-Feb-14 07:56:01

I agree that house insurers mag not be terribly bothered as I can't see the direct relevance but you don't know at this stage. Also I can't see the same applying to any motor insurers I imagine it will be virtually impossible for him to get car insurance.

Also I can't see any employers brushing it under the carpet if it came up in a background check it a crb. It may prevent him from being considered for some types of job or at least prompt a risk assessment before he can be appointed.

Hels20 Fri 28-Feb-14 08:06:18

Sorry I DontDoIroning - for some reason I was thinking about house insurance. Of course, hugely relevant for driving insurance. You are absolutely right.

As for employers - each employer will take a different approach - but if OP's DS intends to go to university and stays out of trouble, this won't necessarily have a hugely detrimental effect. I know a couple of people who have been hugely successful and gained employment in great professional firms who had done equally stupid things when they were 16/17/18 and the employers did overlook it and did put it down to "the folly of youth". There was no violence.

I am not belittling the seriousness of this - I just think teenagers can be incredibly immature about things. If this had happened to my son, I would be very upset and angry and punish him - but would be thanking my lucky stars that he hadn't been drinking and that he didn't hurt anyone.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Fri 28-Feb-14 08:12:06

Fucking hell, this is not teenage silliness, he could have killed someone, either in or out of the car.

If this is what you call silly, what else does he get up to?

HeavenK76 Fri 28-Feb-14 08:30:51

Thanks for your comments
I'm in UK
DS was offered a solicitor at the interview but he turned it down and I was called to the police station as his responsible adult to be present during the interview and was asked whether ds would want a solicitor but in my rage I agreed with what he had chosen for, re no solicitor needed, it was more of you've done so wrong now stand for it, I don't care what happens.
But after a few days, coming back to my senses, I realise that as a parent it's my duty to protect him to whatever may come.
All the officers I spoke to during this mentioned, teenagers, you never know what they're up to, in particular one whom I spoke to on the phone was a very nice gentleman.
He advised us that he understood ds had made a very silly and stupid mistake but as his parents NOT to prosecute him for theft of our car as that would be a step too far.
Ds has never been in trouble before, no smoking, drinking, drugs, no girlfriend, stealing, lying.
So I really don't know what got into him and yes he's been punished at home as well as far as we can take this ie. mobile taken away, grounded, no money etc.
Can we do more?? Also considering this is his big but first mistake.
Will definitely get him a lawyer tho.

cory Fri 28-Feb-14 08:43:04

I think you have done all the right things. You just want to watch your language a bit. You may say inside yourself "this is a stupid mistake", because it helps you to move forward as a family, but you should never, ever use the word "silly" aloud.

Three reasons:

a) It is tremendously hurtful to those who have lost family members under similar circumstances.

b) It gives your son the impression that perhaps his mistake wasn't terribly important after all.

c) It gives other people the impression that you as a parent don't take this terribly seriously, and might make them wonder about other aspects of your parenting. Probably unjustly, but they will be listening very closely to what you say and how you say it.

I know the police officer used that expression, but there is a difference between what a Not Responsible Person Who Is Offering Comfort can allow himself and what you as The Person Who Has To Reinforce That This Must Never Happen Again can allow yourself.

Your tone should more be "this was horrendous and I am just grateful nothing bad happened, but at least you will never do it again, and we just all have to be thankful that no innocent person came to harm"

As parents, part of our job is damage limitation.

HeavenK76 Fri 28-Feb-14 09:13:02

oh ds has seen my anger in this matter and heard a few good words as well. He's been told very clearly how big a mistake he has made but I'm happy he's very sorry and repents what he's done.
He does realise it, which is a big step with teenagers.
I've seen the other side as well with teens not really caring about what they've done.

specialsubject Sat 01-Mar-14 20:17:31

prosecute please. That way he may just realise how serious this is.

if you don't, he may do it again, and may kill or paralyse someone. Or himself.

Ilovefluffysheep Sun 02-Mar-14 13:27:12

Your son will be entitled to free and independent legal advice - that offer is given in the police station (which you turned down) and right through to court. Our force give a list of the local companies that do criminal law when people leave custody - were you given anything like that? If not, try ringing to see if they have one, or can suggest some firms (don't worry, the solicitors are independent of the police, I am simply suggesting this as it tends to the same set of firms that practice criminal law in an area).

If you want one for him for court, get it sorted beforehand, as the court process will not be delayed in order for you to arrange legal advice.

I presume he will be pleading guilty? That will go in his favour, as well as the fact he has no other convictions and is not known to the police. A solicitor may be useful to plead his case, and to try and persuade the magistrates to give him a lesser sentence. In all honestly, for a first offence, I think it unlikely (note I say unlikely, not impossible) that he would be sentenced to prison (young offenders) as there are so few spaces available they try to avoid sending them there unless they really have to.

Hope that helps a bit. I'm a police officer, and its good to read that you had a positive experience with the officers you dealt with, as so often you read posts of people slating them. If it helps, my ex-husband did exactly the same thing when he was 16, except for it was his mother's bosses car which they had at their house for some reason. He was extremely fortunate to 'get away' with a caution rather than being charged.

Good luck with everything.

mirren3 Sun 02-Mar-14 13:46:29

A friend of our son drove our son's car after a party whilst drunk. He was stopped and the case went to court. He only had a provisional, no insurance etc. He lost his license, and had a fine of �300.
Our son was blind drunk at the party house and because he wouldn't say his friend had stolen his car was also charged, but his case was thrown out as he was so drunk.
We were so angry that our son had gone to the party with his car, although he was staying over and not planning to drive till the following night, but that's not the point, he now never takes his car to parties.
The point I'm trying to get to is your son definitely needs legal advice and hopefully will get a fine, lose his licence and perhaps community service.

HeavenK76 Sun 02-Mar-14 21:02:05

Ilove, thank you for your reply and support
Mirren3, thank you too

Specialsubject, he's my son, he's made a mistake first time ever, wouldn't you think he deserves a chance??
NO I don't think it's right to prosecute your own child. As parents you need to be there for them if they make mistakes. And make them understand they should learn from that mistake.

I've already got appointments with 2 lawyers coming week, so he'll have a legal representative going with him to court.

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