"My car was impounded for a Drive on Suspended ticket..."
"My car was impounded when the officer wrote me a ticket for a Drive on Suspended charge. It has been years since I had any suspension of my license."
This happens all the time, with people often losing their only transportation due to tow and storage fees before they can even get to Court to clear up the issue. Your vehicle might be "just a beater" but if that beater is your only transportation to and from work and school, it is a very big deal in your life. Even though all your suspension time may have run years ago, the officer is only able to rely on what DMV tells him or her. If DMV says your license is suspended or revoked, the officer has the authority to impound your vehicle for a range of time -- from three (3) days or up to thirty (30) days.
There are several potential defenses to the impound. If you can get to Court quickly and have the Court release the vehicle from impound, you will only have to pay the fees incurred since the impound. You will not be required to pay for the entire thirty-day period once the Court acts to release the impound. Usually this process can be accomplished with the agreement of the prosecutor, which also tends to make the process move faster.
Should the local prosecutor not agree to release the impound, and you can secure good results in the underlying traffic charge, there is a procedure for compelling the Commonwealth to pay you back for whatever you had to pay for towing and for storage. The assertion of a defense to the impound and cost-shifting are time-sensitive, so getting the documentation together and filed quickly is critical to success.
If you are in this situation and would like to speak with an attorney, please feel free to contact my office to arrange for a free consultation.
"This page is not an advertisement; it is a blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of attorney Robert Lorey. The purpose of these articles is to inform the public regarding various issues involving the criminal justice system and should not be construed to suggest a similar outcome in any other case. The outcome of any case depends on a myriad of factors which are well outside this blog post."
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