Hello I need help with advice on where to go with the situation I'm in. I made a deal with the guy to trade my Dodge Durango and my Mustang for his Suzuki street bike and a $2000 digital water pump. I received the bike and he received both cars but he took off without giving me the pump which was a big part of the deal. I pleaded and begged with him to keep his word and do the right thing by holding up his end of the deal but he told me that since the car had a cracked windshield he was going to keep the pump to offset the cost of the windshield... $2,000 is a huge cost for a windshield in my opinion. He also took off without getting a bill of sale from me the only thing that was in the car was the registration paper that showed I had recently paid the registration current and the vehicle only need a smog in order to receive the new set of tags for 2020. What he didn't know is that I had a spare key to my Durango so after waiting a couple weeks I went and took my car back in order to avoid being ripped off by the guy. To my surprise when I opened the center console he had new registration papers to the car that were in his name and a smog certificate along with a blank bill of sale that was printed out with forms on what you need in order to transfer title in California. So now I'm stuck in the spot of feeling like I was taking my own vehicle back 2 feeling like I might have just committed Grand theft Auto question mark can somebody please help me in steer me in the right direction on where to go from here I hid the vehicle and I'm waiting for advice to find out how to get this reversed and possibly press charges for forging my signature. I appreciate any input anyone can give me thank you.
Given that you voluntarily turned the car over to the buyer, it isn't your car anymore. The correct procedure would be to file a civil case against the buyer for breach of contract, where he would have been required to turn over the pump or compensate you monetarily.
You both violated the law and are subject to punishment. Forgery is a crime in California punishable by up to a year in county jail. Stealing a car is grand theft, which has a range of penalties from misdemeanor to up to 3 years prison, depending on your prior history and the circumstances. You can file a complaint with the police over the forgery, and it will inevitably be revealed that you stole his car.
So you should call an attorney right away to try to get yourself out of this mess. Your main interest would be not getting prosecuted for grand theft, or at least minimizing the penalty. Assuming that he did indeed forge your signature (a signature on the title is required, and surely DMV would not issue a new title without a signature, but you don't indicate what evidence you have that he forged your signature), he could be motivated to cooperate – your respective attorneys can work out an equitable arrangement. The windshield issue will probably be central to the case. Did you crack the windshield after you struck the deal? Did he have an opportunity to inspect the car? Did you fail to disclose a material fact that affects the value of a car? If you replace the windshield, that could tilt the scales of justice in your favor. Get a lawyer and try to keep it out of the courts.