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      RS 14:220     


§220.  Rented or leased motor vehicles; obtaining by false representation, etc.; failure to return; defenses; penalties

A.  If any person rents or leases a motor vehicle and obtains or retains possession of the motor vehicle by means of any false or fraudulent representation including but not limited to a false representation as to his name, residence, employment, or operator's license, or by means of fraudulent concealment, or false pretense or personation, or trick, artifice, or device; or, if the person with fraudulent intent willfully refuses to return the leased vehicle to the lessor after the expiration of the lease term as stated in the lease contract, the person shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to the penalty provided for in Subsection B of this Section.  Except as provided in Subsection D of this Section, the offender's failure to return or surrender the motor vehicle within seven calendar days after notice to make such return or surrender has been sent by certified mail to the offender's last known address, or has been delivered by commercial courier as defined in R.S. 13:3204(D), shall be presumptive evidence of his intent to defraud, and the lessor may report to any law enforcement agency that the rented or leased motor vehicle has been stolen.

B.  Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years with or without hard labor, or both.

C.  It shall be a complete defense to any civil action arising out of or involving the arrest or detention of any person renting or leasing a motor vehicle that any representation made by him in obtaining or retaining possession of the vehicle is contrary to the fact.

D.  It shall be a complete defense to any civil action arising out of or involving the arrest or detention of any person, upon whom such demand was personally made or personally served, that he failed to return the vehicle to the place specified in the rental agreement within such seventy-two hour period.

Acts 1964, No. 442, §§1 to 4.  Amended by Acts 1975, No. 607, §1.  Acts 1984, No. 146, §1; Acts 1997, No. 790, §1; Acts 2003, No. 596, §1.

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