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  1. #1
    stringbean is offline Junior Member
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    caught driving on a suspended license...

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? california
    tonight i was caught driving ( my mom's car ) on a suspended license and was told her car is going to be impounded for 30 days...BUT...a friend of mine told me that the same thing happened to her sister a year ago and her mom was able to get the car out 4 days later, on monday!!!
    could this be true? is there a chance my mom can get her car back sooner??

    thanks in advance for your time!!!
  2. #2
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Your mom will need to talk to the appropriate people with the appropriate documents showing she is the legal owner of the vehicle and see what they say. (I would advise making sure that she speaks in a tone that indicates she is frustrated, but also that she is very calm and will accept what they say)
  3. #3
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    I'm not positive, but I believe the only way she could get the car back is to state that you did NOT have permission to drive the car and you were doing so without her knowlege. That would make her the victim of a crime.... which would also be bad for you. However, absent of that, the registered owner is assumed to be complicit in the illegal act of driving under suspension by letting you have the car.
  4. #4
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not sure how your Mom saying "you were using the car without her permission" would pan out versus her just saying she was unaware of your license suspended status... I would tend to think that the latter choice would be a notch easier to handle for all parties...

    Since the car is registered in your Mom's name, she is entitled to get her car back after paying whatever fees & penalties have accumulated up to the time she gets there to pick it up.

    California Vehicle Code section: 14602.5.(a) states:
    Whenever a person is convicted for driving any class M1 or M2 motor vehicle, while his or her driving privilege has been suspended or revoked, of which vehicle he or she is the owner, or of which the owner permitted the operation, knowing the person's driving privilege was suspended or revoked, the court may, at the time sentence is imposed on the person, order the motor vehicle impounded in any manner as the court may determine, for a period not to exceed six months for a first conviction, and not to exceed 12 months for a second or subsequent conviction. For the purposes of this section, a "second or subsequent conviction" includes a conviction for any offense described in this section. The cost of keeping the vehicle shall be a lien on the vehicle, pursuant to Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 3067) of Title 14 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code.
    So basically, as eluded to before, your Mom needs to contact the law enforcement agency which ordered that the vehicle be impounded, they will have to complete some forms with her; she takes those forms to the tow yard, pays whatever towing and storage charges are on the bill, gets her keys and off she goes.
    Last edited by I_Got_Banned; 09-28-2008 at 02:59 PM.
  5. #5
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    Mom had a duty to know if the son was a legally licensed driver before loaning the car. That's why the "I didn't know his license was suspended" routine would not work.
  6. #6
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMinCA View Post
    Mom had a duty to know if the son was a legally licensed driver before loaning the car. That's why the "I didn't know his license was suspended" routine would not work.
    Mom had a "DUTY"? A duty to whom?
    Let's assume that Mom did the responsible thing (and only to protect herself) by asking (& with all due respect to the O.P.... I'm just posing a hypothetical...) but the O P lied and said "Mom, my license is not suspended".
    Are you suggetsing that because Stringbean lied, she now only has two choices:
    1. She should suffer the loss of the use of her car for the full 30 day impound period, OR. . .
    2. She reports her car as being stolen thereby implicating Stringbean for a crime in addition to what he's facing?

    Guess what Stringbean, according to Jim, and for your sake, I hope your Mom mas another mode of transportation and about $1200 to $1500 to fork out at the end of the 30 days!!!!

    In reality and with it being Monday you probably already have your answer but I'll still post the correct vehicle code section which is 14602.6 with an apology for not posting the correct information from the start. As for 14602.5 which I posted above, it still is applicable although I should point out that it specifically states that "the court MAY...". I'll say that I have come across a few people recently who have had a car impounded yet were not penalized by the court under

    Obviously, the option that were posted by Jim is available however, it might be the least practical!

    14602.6 (b) The registered and legal owner of a vehicle that is removed and seized under subdivision (a) or their agents shall be provided the opportunity for a storage hearing to determine the validity of, or consider any mitigating circumstances attendant to, the storage, in accordance with Section 22852.
    (c) Any period in which a vehicle is subjected to storage under this section shall be included as part of the period of impoundment ordered by the court under subdivision (a) of Section 14602.5.
    (d) (1) An impounding agency shall release a vehicle to the
    registered owner or his or her agent prior to the end of 30 days'
    impoundment under any of the following circumstances:
    (A) When the vehicle is a stolen vehicle.
    (B) When the vehicle is subject to bailment and is driven by an unlicensed employee of a business establishment, including a parking service or repair garage.
    (C) When the license of the driver was suspended or revoked for an offense other than those included in Article 2 (commencing with Section 13200) of Chapter 2 of Division 6 or Article 3 (commencing with Section 13350) of Chapter 2 of Division 6.
    (D) When the vehicle was seized under this section for an offense that does not authorize the seizure of the vehicle.
    (E) When the driver reinstates his or her driver's license or acquires a driver's license and proper insurance.
    (2) No vehicle shall be released pursuant to this subdivision without presentation of the registered owner's or agent's currently valid driver's license to operate the vehicle and proof of current vehicle registration, or upon order of a court.
    (e) The registered owner or his or her agent is responsible for all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment, and any administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5.
    Lastly, the "mitigating circumstances" referenced in 14602.6(b) could be something like (your Mom saying): "that's the only car I have and I need it to get to work". I know for a fact that has worked before.
    Last edited by I_Got_Banned; 09-29-2008 at 10:58 PM.
  7. #7
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    Mom had a duty to the People. Just as Mom would have a duty not to loan her car to someone who is clearly drunk. She would not be able to sit back and state that it wasn't her responsibility that the driver of her car was drunk. Ownership of a vehicle demands responsibility.

    If Stringbean told Mom that he had a license, when in fact he didin't, then he took the car under false pretenses. That would be very similar to Stringbean taking the car without her knowlege or consent.

    As I said before, this makes a good defense for Mom... but it puts Stringbean at risk.
  8. #8
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringbean View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? california
    tonight i was caught driving ( my mom's car ) on a suspended license and was told her car is going to be impounded for 30 days...BUT...a friend of mine told me that the same thing happened to her sister a year ago and her mom was able to get the car out 4 days later, on monday!!!
    could this be true? is there a chance my mom can get her car back sooner??

    thanks in advance for your time!!!
    The process includes an impound hearing for the registered owner or the legal owner. If the hearing officer believes that the registered/legal owner had made reasonable inquiry as to the driver's license status and was deceived, then the hearing officer will generally release the vehicle short of the 30 days. However, if the registered owner fails to demonstrate they made a reasonable inquiry as to the driving status, then the owner has two choices: allege the vehicle was stolen, or wait 30 days.

    The reason? if the owner made no reasonable inquiry, then the owner could be guilty of a crime for permitting an unlicensed driver to operate the vehicle. In this instance, I would not release the car as mom almost certainly knew junior had no license and should not have permitted him to take the car. Now, if she wants to sign a citizen's arrest for auto theft (and I believe the elements of the crime have been met), then maybe we'd talk.

    The process can be very subjective. I am the hearing officer for my agency and in 7 years I have released only one such vehicle before the 30 day time frame when I was not required by statute to release it.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  9. #9
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_Got_Banned View Post
    Mom had a "DUTY"? A duty to whom?
    Let's assume that Mom did the responsible thing (and only to protect herself) by asking (& with all due respect to the O.P.... I'm just posing a hypothetical...) but the O P lied and said "Mom, my license is not suspended".
    Are you suggetsing that because Stringbean lied, she now only has two choices:
    1. She should suffer the loss of the use of her car for the full 30 day impound period, OR. . .
    2. She reports her car as being stolen thereby implicating Stringbean for a crime in addition to what he's facing?
    Jim is absolutely right! Mom is required under the law to make inquiry on license status.

    14604. (a) No owner of a motor vehicle may knowingly allow another
    person to drive the vehicle upon a highway unless the owner
    determines that the person possesses a valid driver's license that
    authorizes the person to operate the vehicle. For the purposes of
    this section, an owner is required only to make a reasonable effort
    or inquiry to determine whether the prospective driver possesses a
    valid driver's license before allowing him or her to operate the
    owner's vehicle. An owner is not required to inquire of the
    department whether the prospective driver possesses a valid driver's
    license.
    If she made reasonable inquiry, then chances are the vehicle could be returned. However, it will be very hard for mom to convince a hearing officer that she did not know about his license status - particularly if he is a minor.

    Guess what Stringbean, according to Jim, and for your sake, I hope your Mom mas another mode of transportation and about $1200 to $1500 to fork out at the end of the 30 days!!!!
    It's likely to exceed $1,800, actually (that's not counting the agency's release fee if they have one).

    Here are the only MANDATORY reasons an agency must lift the hold early:

    (A) When the vehicle is a stolen vehicle.
    (B) When the vehicle is subject to bailment and is driven by an unlicensed employee of a business establishment, including a parking service or repair garage.
    (C) When the license of the driver was suspended or revoked for an offense other than those included in Article 2 (commencing with Section 13200) of Chapter 2 of Division 6 or Article 3 (commencing with Section 13350) of Chapter 2 of Division 6.
    (D) When the vehicle was seized under this section for an offense that does not authorize the seizure of the vehicle.
    (E) When the driver reinstates his or her driver's license or acquires a driver's license and proper insurance.
    Sections (A) and (E) are the most common reasons for releasing the vehicle early.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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