At what age does parental responsibility end

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DaveS
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At what age does parental responsibility end

Unread post by DaveS on

Hello, this is my first post on this board... my 17yr old son was stopped this week and charged with driving with invalid/stolen plates (they were given to him by a friend as he had no money to get his own) and driving with no insurance (yikes). I have to say he does not live with me else i would have taken his keys by force if necessary just to keep him and his car off the road. Now my question. He was told by the police that his mother and I will have to appear in court with him, as parents can they hold us responsible for his actions even though he is 17 going on 18 in June? Driving with no insurance is a minimum 5k fine from what i understand. Not sure about the other charge.

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Simon Borys
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Unread post by Simon Borys on

You have no liability under the highway traffic act for any of his actions, nor the consequences of his actions (i.e. the fines). There are several charges of allowing something to happen, under the highway traffic act (like allowing a person to drive without insurance, allowing a person to drive without a licence, etc), but if you are not charged with those offences, you have no obligation to appear in court.
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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Sounds weird that the police would've asked you to appear. Was the vehicle registered to your son or was it registered to someone else?
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Unread post by Stanton on

You said he was driving with stolen plates. Was he actually charged criminally for theft and/or possession of stolen property? Or just driving with Plates Not Authorized under the HTA?

If he was charged criminally, the police are required to notify you of the Criminal Charge as he's a minor (under 18). If it's just HTA charges, then as long as someone is 16 or older there is no requirement.

That being said, it's not uncommon for police to still notify parents of traffic charges, especially when they're driving mom & dads vehicle.


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Unread post by DaveS on

It was his car registered under his name. The plates were given to him by one of his friends who took them from his Dad's garage. Plates were returned to the owner by the police. The charge for my son was driving with plates not authorized for that vehicle on top of a couple of others.


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Based on what you told me, you have, as Simon Borys says, no liability or responsibility. They cannot fine you. There is the highly remote possibility that you might get a Justice of the Peace who is poorly trained and thinks he can, but that would be tossed on appeal. If you're concerned about it, you could seek out a paralegal and get a consultation about the situation. (Most offer free consultations.) Chances are, though, they'll tell you the same thing that we did.
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DaveS
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Unread post by DaveS on

Just wondering, will he be losing his license due to these charges? Also, his car is still in the impound yard. Any ideas how much HE will have to pay to get it out?

Great forum btw. Tons of information on here.


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Unread post by Stanton on

DaveS wrote:Just wondering, will he be losing his license due to these charges? Also, his car is still in the impound yard. Any ideas how much HE will have to pay to get it out?

Great forum btw. Tons of information on here.
He could see his licence suspended, but it's unlikely on a first offence.

Plates not authorized carries a fine of between $100 to $1,000. It's also possible (but very unlikley) for a jail sentence of up to 30 days, and a licence/permit suspension for up to 6 months.
No insurance carries a frightening fine of $5,000 to $25,000 on a first offence. If you get caught a second time your licence can be suspended for a year along with a $10,000 to $50,000 fine.

If your son shows up to Court, is respectful, and has a relatively good record, he'll likely get the minimum fine for each offence and nothing else.

The problem will be paying off the fines. If he fails to pay, his licence WILL be suspended. Usually the Courts can work out some type of payment plan to make regular installments while you pay everything off.

As for towing/impound fees, there's no set rate. Each police service will contract out local towing companies. Police usually get a good rate, but you're tow would still probably be $50+ and another $10+ per day in storage fees. It adds up fast.


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Impound fees are big business for tow companies. No idea how much he'll have to pay. Chances are, with the fines he's facing, he'll have to forfeit the vehicle.
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Unread post by DaveS on

Since you were all so kind to provide your opinions I thought I'd post an update... He had his court appearance and got off really lucky considering. He ended up with a fine of $2500 for the no insurance, for the plates not authorized charge he was given a suspended sentence and he has to pay the expired sticker fine. He's also getting a deal from the impound yard. $400 which is a steal considering his car has been there since beginning of February. Sure hope he's learned a lesson. Now he needs to find a job so he can start paying the fines.


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Unread post by Stanton on

Thanks for the update, it's nice to see what actually comes of certain charges.

Seems like a relatively fair deal for your son. It's certainly an expensive lesson, but a manageable one that he hopefully learns and moves on from.


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Unread post by DaveS on

Well.... Guess who's son is an IDIOT and obviously didn't learn a thing from his first encounter with the OPP. His second run in happened this week. Charges exactly the same as the first time (No insurance, plates not registered to the vehicle, invalid sticker) plus one additional charge which I haven't found out about. Car is gone to impound again as well. He's on his own this time around and I doubt the courts will be a leniant as they were the first time. Arghhhhh..... teenagers!


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Unread post by epcjay on

Wow that was like 15 days after the court date?

I feel bad for you since it seems like you dont want anything thing to do with your son and he gets into these situations, but I'm also glad your son got caught before he could do some real damage like get into an accident not at fault, or at fault. If he ran over someone, and they are injured for life he would get sued for 100k+ and he would have no life anymore.

How did he buy the car anyways?


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Unread post by DaveS on

How do you figure I don't want anythinig to do with my son? I cherish my, albeit strained, relationship. By saying he's on his own is far from not wanting anything to do with him. I was simply stating that I took a day off work to make sure he made it to his first court appearance and even sweet-talked the crown prosecutor a little. This time he can do it himself because he obviously did not learn a lesson. I too am glad he was caught. As you stated having him involved in an accident or worse, hitting a pedestrian or cyclist he would be finished.

He bought the car in November(ish) with money he got from a part time job. He can kiss that one good-bye cause I ain't forking out a dime to help him get it from impound!


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Unread post by DaveS on

Court appearance for second set of charges is tomorrow. Could be interesting and costly!






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