failure to return rental property

Failure to return rental property is a crime in North Carolina. This blog explores failure to return rental property.

There is a myth out there that every lawyer knows every aspect of every law. This is very false.  At Gilles Law, we focus on criminal defense, yet we get questions about tax, landlord tenant, civil commitment, etc. from our friends and family all the time. They assume that because we are lawyers, we know everything about the law.  

Today we will dispel this myth.  In fact, we will take it a step further and explain that not even criminal law attorneys have heard of every crime.  We probably shouldn’t give away this secret, but sometimes we get a call about a crime we have never heard of.  Today was just that day.  We got a call about failing to return rental property.  What did we do? We looked it up.

There are several hundred crimes on both the federal and state level. It is not possible to memorize them all, but a criminal defense lawyer knows how to look up the appropriate law and defend you against what you have been charged with.   

What is failure to return rental property?

Failure to return rental property is covered under North Carolina General Statute 14-168.4.  In that statute, is it described as “the failure to return rented property with intent to defeat the rights of the owner, which is rented pursuant to a written rental agreement which there is an option to purchase the property after the date of termination provided in the agreement has occurred or, if the termination date is the occurrence of a specified event, then that such event has in fact occurred.”

What does that mean? This is where a criminal defense lawyer comes in.  We are trained to research and understand matters like this. 

An example of this crime comes into play with rent-to-own furniture.  This crime can be charged in that context if you had an agreement for rent to own furniture and you didn’t follow the terms of the agreement, stopped making payments, and attempted to keep the furniture.

How serious is this crime?

In North Carolina, failure to return rental property is punished as a Class 3 misdemeanor and follows the North Carolina misdemeanor sentencing guidelines.

What should I do if I have been charged with this or another crime?

If you have been charged with a crime, even if it is a crime that you have never heard of, we can help.  Gilles Law is a Charlotte criminal defense law firm that handles North Carolina criminal defense, South Carolina criminal defense, and federal criminal defense.  Contact us today to discuss your criminal case.

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