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How Do I Get My Car Back After Arrested for a DUI?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Feb 28, 2018

It's not uncommon that when people get arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, the police take their car away and impound it. There are various reasons why the police can impound somebody's car.

Depending on the reason, that will dictate the solution as far as how you get your car back. If your vehicle has been taken away from you because you're driving on a suspended license, then the law says they must keep the vehicle for thirty days.

The only way that I've seen people get around this thirty-day impoundment is if the person who owns the car had nothing to do with the driver who was driving on a suspended license. That person can come and show that it's their car, they need it, and they weren't the one who caused it to be impounded.

Usually, if this is handled politely and professionally, the police will release the hold on the car, and the person can get their vehicle back to move on with their life. If, on the other hand, the person who has a suspended license owns that car and drives that car, then they're going to have to wait thirty days while it's being impounded because they're seizing it by law. They're also going to have to pay the fees associated with the suspended license related to the case.

Another reason that can cause a car to be held is if the police arrest you, they're entitled to impound your vehicle, search it. Then once you get out of custody, you should be able to get the car back by going to the police station and following their prompts as far as what you have to do.

Criminal Case Hold

You're probably going to have to pay some fees to get the vehicle out. If the vehicle's being held as property, that's a different story. I've had a lot of situations where people's cars are born. The police will not let the car out because either they were involved in some hit and run and need to investigate and take pictures of the case, or sadly, the police will keep it to make sure that the person turns himself in related to a hit and run case.

Another scenario has to do with the car being held for the evidence. If you're involved in an accident, the police need to photograph it and see what's inside it to possibly use information in the car. They can put a hold on it, And unfortunately, they're pretty lazy when it comes to this, and they take their time as far as releasing the car.

In this scenario, I usually have to contact the prosecutor, get the prosecutor to acknowledge that the police have had enough time to look at the car, take pictures, search it, etc. Then the prosecutors will typically call the police up and say, hey, let the cargo.

Retain Lawyer To Negotiate Vehicle Release

So, suppose your car is in custody, and you want to try to get it out. In that case, your best solution is to hire an attorney to assist you with whatever criminal case you caused the car to get impounded in the first place, and then tangential to that representation, your attorney can speak to the powers that be and figure out how to get your car out. Without an attorney, sometimes it is tough to get your vehicle out, and storage fees can mount, and you can be put in a position where the car is held for so long, depending on its value, it's not even worth it to get it out.

So, if you have a situation where you're charged with a crime, and your car has been impounded, and you're trying to get that vehicle out in Los Angeles county, let your attorney do the work for you. Let your attorney advise you.

Sometimes I advise people exactly how to get their car out and let them take care of their physical activity. They just really needed a strategy on how to get the vehicle out from me. But for an attorney to tell you over the phone – not knowing anything about your situation – they're probably not going to be able to give you as much detail as you need to get the vehicle out successfully.

So, sometimes it takes vigilance to get the vehicle out – you have to put some time in and go to the right places – other times, it takes patience because the police need to do whatever they need to do related to your vehicle. Eventually, they're going to let it go. Sometimes it takes a little bit of both of these. But if you want to get the strategy on how to get that vehicle out about a DUI case, then you're going to need to talk to an attorney and let them properly advise you.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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