On Wednesdays during 18 News at Noon, we bring you Law Talk to answer questions that you, our viewers submit to be answered by our team of lawyers. In this edition of Law Talk attorney Matt Buzzetti discusses a topic that could potentially land you in trouble.
The question was asked if someone borrows my vehicle and leaves something in it, and I am pulled over, Am I responsible for the items? Even if I am unaware of their presence in the vehicle? The short answer is, Yes you are responsible under the automobile presumption in New York State. This can also apply if you are in a vehicle with someone else, and there is an illegal object, (drugs, weapon) in the vehicle. With the automobile presumption, everyone in the vehicle can be presumed to be in possession of the object.
Also with the automobile presumption, it is not just the objects in the vehicle, it can be legal requirements, such as insurance, registration, or inspection. These come back to the driver, even if it is not your vehicle. Typically, when people borrow a car, they don’t ask if about if it is insured.
Matt covers some other details of the law, and how it may affect you.