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Borrowed a car? Make sure you have written permission

Did you know that taking someone else’s property without their consent could lead to serious charges in Colorado? You could face a misdemeanor if the property is valued between $50 and $2,000, or you could face a felony charge if it’s over that amount.

If you ask a friend or an acquaintance to borrow something valuable, like a vehicle, it’s a good idea to get permission. Don’t just take the keys and think you can get back before they notice you’re gone or that they won’t mind if you head out in their vehicle. You always want to get written permission, either on a text, through email or on paper before you borrow that vehicle. You can also get permission with a recorded statement, like if you call and wait for a voicemail giving you permission.

Why ask for permission before borrowing a vehicle?

Even though your intention is to borrow the vehicle, someone who forgets you borrowed it or who decides they don’t want you to take it could end up calling the police and reporting it stolen. Stealing a vehicle is a felony.

Even if the intention wasn’t to take it permanently or without permission, you could end up facing a traffic stop, arrest, time in jail or other frustrating circumstances as you wait for the other party to clear your name or to clear it yourself with the permission you kept on hand.

If you don’t have permission to borrow a friend or family member’s vehicle, don’t. If you do, make sure you have it on you to prevent any misunderstandings by the authorities or others around you.