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Did police violate my rights

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CdwJava

Senior Member
What in California would have been a "lawful cause" to tow the vehicle?
A lot. Unlicensed driver, vehicle unregistered more than 6 months, driver arrested, and a few other possibilities. Assuming there was lawful cause to tow the vehicle, a search pursuant to a pre-storage inventory is lawful.

The OP should have been told the cause for the tow and may well have been provided a copy of the CHP-180 at the scene. The storage authority would be on that document. If not received at the scene, a copy would be mailed to the registered and legal owners.
 


quincy

Senior Member
A lot. Unlicensed driver, vehicle unregistered more than 6 months, driver arrested, and a few other possibilities. Assuming there was lawful cause to tow the vehicle, a search pursuant to a pre-storage inventory is lawful.

The OP should have been told the cause for the tow and may well have been provided a copy of the CHP-180 at the scene. The storage authority would be on that document. If not received at the scene, a copy would be mailed to the registered and legal owners.
Sorry. I think I worded my question wrong. I know reasons why cars can be towed.

In this case, though, would the arrest be reason enough for the police to impound the vehicle? The vehicle was on gas station property but apparently was otherwise not in anyone's way.

I looked at the California Vehicle Code (section 22650) and it spawned my curiosity. :)
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Sorry. I think I worded my question wrong. I know reasons why cars can be towed.

In this case, though, would the arrest be reason enough for the police to impound the vehicle? The vehicle was on gas station property but apparently was otherwise not in anyone's way.

I looked at the California Vehicle Code (section 22650) and it spawned my curiosity.
That depends. If the OP were transported from the scene and then issued the citation (either at the jail or the police department), more than likely, yes. If cited and released at the scene, then, no. In addition to the statutory authority (VC 22651(h)) a community caretaking exception must also be met. Since one cannot generally leave a car parked on private property, or if it was unsafe to leave the vehicle parked where it was, the vehicle can be impounded.

The OP also points out the vehicle's having dealer plates but being legally registered. That leads me to wonder about other issues - such as the lawful registration. Since january, newly purchased vehicles without metal plates must have a digital (paper) "plate" issued by the DMV through the dealership - NO dealer plates. If the vehicle was impounded in July with dealer plates (and by this I assume he means the dealer's name on a paper ad where the plates should be) then I suspect it was ether unregistered, or, displaying improper evidence of registration ... though, if the latter, I would expect another infraction or misdemeanor cite or booking for that offense (depending on the details).

Since we have no real idea why the vehicle was towed, it's all speculation at this point.
 

Eekamouse

Senior Member
That depends. If the OP were transported from the scene and then issued the citation (either at the jail or the police department), more than likely, yes. If cited and released at the scene, then, no. In addition to the statutory authority (VC 22651(h)) a community caretaking exception must also be met. Since one cannot generally leave a car parked on private property, or if it was unsafe to leave the vehicle parked where it was, the vehicle can be impounded.

The OP also points out the vehicle's having dealer plates but being legally registered. That leads me to wonder about other issues - such as the lawful registration. Since january, newly purchased vehicles without metal plates must have a digital (paper) "plate" issued by the DMV through the dealership - NO dealer plates. If the vehicle was impounded in July with dealer plates (and by this I assume he means the dealer's name on a paper ad where the plates should be) then I suspect it was ether unregistered, or, displaying improper evidence of registration ... though, if the latter, I would expect another infraction or misdemeanor cite or booking for that offense (depending on the details).

Since we have no real idea why the vehicle was towed, it's all speculation at this point.
I hate those new digital paper plates. For some reason, they just really bug me.
 

quincy

Senior Member
I hate those new digital paper plates. For some reason, they just really bug me.
Michigan has always had the temporary paper plates after a car sale, replaced within days by the metal plate. Dealer plates are reserved for car dealers.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Michigan has always had the temporary paper plates after a car sale, replaced within days by the metal plate. Dealer plates are reserved for car dealers.
We have real dealer plates as well, but they are not left on sold cars, of course. So, when people like the OP say they had a car that still had "dealer plates" I take that to mean they had the paper plate promoting the dealer on them.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Over half the cars I see them on have them flapping in the wind, totally unreadable.
Better than orange paper plates that say the dealer's name. Some people drive around in those for months. At least now, the lack of a metal or paper plate gives an officer clear lawful cause to stop the vehicle.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Better than orange paper plates that say the dealer's name. Some people drive around in those for months. At least now, the lack of a metal or paper plate gives an officer clear lawful cause to stop the vehicle.
Months? I have a coworker who has NEVER put regular plates on his car (until recently) - he leases new vehicles once every two years, so the cars always look new enough that one might still have the promotional dealer place-holders on the car.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Months? I have a coworker who has NEVER put regular plates on his car (until recently) - he leases new vehicles once every two years, so the cars always look new enough that one might still have the promotional dealer place-holders on the car.
He won't be able to do that now. At least, it will not be as easy to avoid putting a plate on it.

I always like the people that have no front plate. That's a free fire zone for the police. I would identify local idjits who had their favorite football team, statement, or nothing on front, and wait for the opportune time to stop them - often when there was a car full of fellow idjits. :)
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
RANT ALERT.

My state recently finally when to dated paper plates for newly purchased cars. The date they will expire is clearly written on the tag about the same size as the letters/numbers would be on a regular plate. Not once, not twice, not three times but four times in the last couple of months I've pulled up on my motorcycle behind a car with clearly expired temp plates while a police officer was in the lane beside me. In all four cases, I've burped the throttle and point them out to the LEO. Not once has the car been pulled over.

The last two times were reported to the commander of the patrol division along with the time, location and car number of the officer.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Over half the cars I see them on have them flapping in the wind, totally unreadable.
Michigan requires that the paper plates be attached to the insides of the newly-purchased vehicles' rear windows. The expiration date is in large print so it is easy to see if the plate is expired.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
RANT ALERT.

My state recently finally when to dated paper plates for newly purchased cars. The date they will expire is clearly written on the tag about the same size as the letters/numbers would be on a regular plate. Not once, not twice, not three times but four times in the last couple of months I've pulled up on my motorcycle behind a car with clearly expired temp plates while a police officer was in the lane beside me. In all four cases, I've burped the throttle and point them out to the LEO. Not once has the car been pulled over.

The last two times were reported to the commander of the patrol division along with the time, location and car number of the officer.
They could have been on the way to a call, or even under direction not to enforce lesser traffic offenses. Maybe on their way to lunch! Not sure what state you're in, but many agencies in CA discourage or outright prohibit patrol officers (not assigned to Traffic details) from performing traffic stops for no other reason than traffic offenses.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
They could have been on the way to a call, or even under direction not to enforce lesser traffic offenses. Maybe on their way to lunch! Not sure what state you're in, but many agencies in CA discourage or outright prohibit patrol officers (not assigned to Traffic details) from performing traffic stops for no other reason than traffic offenses.
Small city (18,000). In a couple of the cases not on a call or at least not one that didn't stop them driving the mile and a half and then leisurely turning around and heading back. All 4 were patrol division.
 

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