California has a dedicated government agency to address the issue of auto repair fraud; that is the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR.) The fact alone suggests how widespread allegations of auto repair fraud are in this state. If you have been accused of auto repair fraud, you need a San Francisco white collar criminal attorney.
The primary legal issue in auto repair fraud is one of unfair and deceptive business practices. Practically speaking, the most common complaints are that you, as the repair facility:
- Did not fix the car;
- Charged for unnecessary repairs;
- Charged too much for the repair completed.
In many cases, the BAR may contact you directly acting as an intermediary. This occurs after a consumer has contacted the BAR and filed a complaint against you. It is important to understand however, that the BAR acts only to achieve a settlement between you and the complaining party. The BAR cannot represent the complainant in court, collect money or levy fees against you.
The BAR looks to such issues as was all work specifically authorized, was there a written estimate, was there a detailed invoice, among others. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you and the consumer, through the BAR, may reach a settlement agreement.
If not, the complainant may sue you in court. If you are convicted of auto repair fraud, you may have to pay fines equal to the repair amount, plus any additional repairs the consumer paid for, attorney fees and other damages.
If you have been accused of auto repair fraud, a San Francisco white collar criminal attorney can make sure your rights are protected. Call today for a free case evaluation.