What will happen if I do not respond to the police and where do I go from here?

Q: Last month I let someone borrow my car and they were caught shoplifting a single food item from a gas station. The person gave the item back to the manager, but she wanted their ID. The person said no and left in my vehicle and the manager ended up getting the license plate number. Three days ago, the police called my place of work and left a message wanting to know who I let use the car. That same day they showed up at my last place of residence but the people who live there now don’t know anything about me. I am not going to tell the police who borrowed my car so what should I expect to happen. (Penn Hills, PA)

A:  Even if the police suspect you are not the perpetrator, they could arrest you just to put pressure on you to give information. If I had to guess, I doubt it because the crime is very minor-likely to be a summary retail theft-and the item was returned. If you are arrested or cited, and you still want play hardball, just go through the process and it is likely (hopefully) that the store manager will not identify you. If you go that route, do it with an attorney.


Q: Can a minor get convicted far assault and robbery because someone was robbed and gave police a description of just facial hair and height. And they picked up person fitting that description nothing else and because they had a charge in the pass the same.

A: While it is possible to be arrested on a weak or somewhat ambiguous identification provided to police, it is difficult to convict on a weak or ambiguous identification. If the police were on the fence about arresting him, the fact that he has priors may have give them and added reason to do so. This is not fair but it in reality, it happens. It would be important to have an attorney pin down the identification on the record at the preliminary hearing. It is crucial that he have an attorney represent him at every stage of the prosecution.