If someone else gets a ticket while using your car in New York who is responsible for paying the fines? Is it the car owner or the driver. We asked a local attorney.

My wife found herself in the middle of a strange predicament recently. She was getting all kinds of parking tickets from the NYPD. She denied piling up the fines but they sent photographic evidence of her car there. Turns out it was a car she traded in quite some time ago to a dealer. Someone else must have purchased it but we were getting the tickets. How do we resolve this?

We asked local attorney Alex Mainetti and here was his answer:

"Your wife would have to show proof that she sold the vehicle prior to the tickets being issued.  This can usually be shown by a bill of sale or other purchase/sale agreement documents.  You would then plead not guilty to the tickets go to Court and show the Judge or handling administrator/prosecutor proof/documentation demonstrating that you were not the owner of the vehicle at time the tickets were issued.  That would almost certainly result in the tickets being dismissed as against your wife. "


Here's another question. What about if you still own the car and someone uses it and gets a parking ticket or uses it while committing a crime?


"If you were technically still the owner of the car at the time of the tickets and the sale had not yet occurred then yes you would be on the hook for the tickets.


If the car was used by the dealer or someone else to commit a crime with no knowledge of its owner then no criminality would attach to the owner.  Unless of course the owner conspired with the person who committed the crime.


If the car was used by the dealer or someone else and the driver injured someone then yes the legal owner would still likely be liable under the law of permissive use. Permissive use is a chain in NY, this means if I give you the keys to my car and then you give my keys to your friend and that friend gives the keys to his g/f etc. and that person crashes my car into someone hurting them then they follow the chain all the way back up to the owner (me) for civil liability. Of course the driver of the car would also be liable."

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