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  1. #1
    eyebthesweetie is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Northern California

    Exclamation Reduce impound fees???

    What is the name of your state?Caifornia
    My 10 Yr. old Son and I drove to Hollywood, CA. last month to visit Universal Studios before the start of school. On the day we were to depart, I discovered that the plastic radiator guard on my car was drooping, and slightly dragging. A man staying at our hotel, who's acquaintance we had made over the week , offered to look at it, possibly fix it, and check our fluids. Rarely would I EVER allow such a new acquaintance to assist me , let alone behind the wheel of my car, but over the 7 to 8 days we were registered at the hotel, he appeared stable, was well dressed, obviously well educated and drove a well kept, new SUV himself. I agreed to let him test drive my car (a 1994 Jaguar XJ6), and determine what needed to be done so we could drive home safely. We payed for one more night, and I agreed to let him take my car that evening to "his Sister's house", whom he was supposedly visiting, in order to jack it up, etc.. He left his vehicle in the Hotel parking lot. The next morning he called my room from the Hollywood Jail! He had been arrested and my car impounded. He had no outstanding warrants himself, but he also had NO license, and had been pulled over while driving late that night with a girl in the passenger seat that had a warrant for prostitution! To top things off, in my car was a little "Dodger Bat", that my 10 year old son had spotted at a yard sale on our trip and asked me to buy...
    The police called it a weapon and charged him with a possession of a Felony weapon on top of everything else. I spoke to the Detective in charge and he was VERY rude and didn't care to listen to ANYTHING I had to say. I was hoping to simply pay the fees, get my car and make it home in time to get my Son at school for the first day of the year. He told me that I could talk all day...but I was NOT getting my car before 30 days and that's that! So, my roommate, my Son and I were stranded in L.A. with barely enough money to stay at the hotel let alone bus tickets home. We had to borrow money to pay the hotel,eat, and rent a car to get home, and my Son missed the first week of school! It's now 30 days and I have to pay to go back to L.A. from Eureka, CA., pay the fees for my car, which total approx. $1,500.00, and hope that my car is in driving condition after being towed and searched so I can make it home. I was never formally notified by mail or phone about my car being impounded. At least this man had the courtesy to make me his one phone call. To the best of my knowledge, he is still in jail, fighting Possession of a Felony Weapon, and charges stemming from no license and prostitution. WOW! Never could I have imagined that mistakenly letting someone who seemed so stable get behind the wheel of my car would turn into this...Is there anything I can do to reduce my charges or after getting my car back, perhaps file small claims to assist with the exorbinant cost of everything?

  2. #2
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    The law actually requires the police to impound the vehicle for 30 days when driven by a suspended or never licensed driver. You are permitted to arrange for an impound hearing with an officer or supervisor who is assigned to handle such things ... apparently you never arranged to do so.

    The law also requires that you be notified (or a notice mailed) within 2 business days of the impound. They likely sent a notice to the address listed for the registered owner of the vehicle. If they failed to notify you, then you cannot be assessed fees for more than 15 days.

    However, if you spoke to the detective within 2 business days of the impound then you WERE notified.

    From CVC 14602.6 (the full section can be found here: [url]http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc14602_6.htm[/url]):

    The impounding agency, within two working days of impoundment, shall send a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the legal owner of the vehicle, at the address obtained from the department, informing the owner that the vehicle has been impounded. Failure to notify the legal owner within two working days shall prohibit the impounding agency from charging for more than 15 days' impoundment when the legal owner redeems the impounded vehicle. The impounding agency shall maintain a published telephone number that provides information 24 hours a day regarding the impoundment of vehicles and the rights of a registered owner to request a hearing.

    However, the "impounding agency" would be the law enforcement agency making the impound, and they don't charge a release fee by day. So, unless the local tow company is willing to waive the fees over 15 days you might have to seek it from the law enforcement agency.

    - Carl

    A Retired 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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