Inquiry:  My children’s father was keeping his car at my house due to no parking where he lives. I have driven his car many times until one day I got pulled over and got a bunch of tickets (didn’t change address on time, invalid sticker and failure to show insurance card) I told him and he said he would take care of it and he paid everything but I didn’t drive the car again…until one day I got a notice that my hydro was going to be cut off so I literally drove 1km to my bank to pay it and with my luck, got pulled over. When he checked everything out he got the previous officer that pulled me over to come and basically make fun and belittle me saying I’m trying to con them or something and a bunch of other stuff.

So to make a really long story short I called my ex after I got his car towed back to my house and he came by the next day as the officer had told me I had to get him to call him. So he ends up getting a summons for court “permit motor vehicle without insurance” hired xcopper and they said they would take care of everything and if they couldn’t get him off they would get the fine lowered to below $100.

Well the final court appearance is up and he has to attend. Xcopper told him the crown wants him to plea guilty to permitting me to drive but the truth is that he didn’t actually give me permission. He had in the past and after the first ticket I didn’t drive it until that next time(5months later) and of course, get pulled over again. I never asked him to take the car and I didn’t know that he had no insurance on it I just figured he did as he took care of everything the time before. I was honestly just scared my hydro was going to get cut and I needed to get it paid. That’s what happens I guess. Now we don’t know what to do. They want him to plea and pay $3500aprox plus whatever charges are extra and if he doesn’t the officer is saying he will charge me with stealing the car. I don’t know if it’s actually called “Grand Theft Auto” or “Theft over $5000” or I was reading and thought maybe “Joy Riding” I’m not sure what grounds they would have for theft as I didn’t have intentions on stealing the car.

I don’t know much about law or my rights or if I should even get a lawyer.  I don’t want him to have to pay for something he didn’t even know about but neither one of us can afford even $1000 at the moment. We have 3 sons plus we both have rent, bills, etc. If I were to get charged with something like I stated before would that affect me being able to cross the border or get a government job or anything like that? Would they even still be able to arrest me? The incident happened on May 3rd 2014. Any advice, insight or help you might be able to shed some light on, I would greatly appreciate it.

Response:  As the party charged by the police already has legal representation we are unable to provide legal direction to him.  He will need to speak with his legal team to review his options within the context of the legal merits of his case.  One of the questions that he will likely need to address with his legal team is whether he ought to have reasonably known that you had access to the vehicle and might drive it.  In regards to predicting the outcome of a case in advance of a court ruling, defendants should be very careful about any legal representative that makes overly optimistic or absolute statements regarding how the case will resolve.  Unfortunately, at court there are no guarantees despite the best, most diligent work performed on behalf of the defendant.  Good legal representation should be able to lay out the possible outcomes for you and review your possible defences.  However, no one can predict with absolute certainty which of the possible outcomes will occur in any given case.