What gives police the right to impound the car?

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    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit

    In this story police tells the woman that she cannot have a friend come pick up her car. What gives them the right to impound her car? They had no reason to suspect that she was carrying drugs or hiding evidence of a crime in it and certainly had no warrant. It sounds like a direct violation of the fourth amendment.


    The car was seized during the course of it allegedly being a tool used to commission an ongoing crime.


    i clicked on the link and saw nothing about impounding the car. Please supply a correct link.


    they can stop you from driving by taking away your privilege to drive. They can impound the car to make sure you don’t drive it.

    otherwise, yes, its a violation of the 4th

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit

    Joseph- speeding is a misdemeanor, hardly a major crime.

    iacisrmma- listen to the conversation in the video

    yitzchokm- she wanted her friend (who had not been speeding) to come get the car. Police did not allow that.


    It’s actually not even a misdemeanor jurisdictions. It’s usually just a violation.

    You’re right. If there was no crime done, it’s illegal to impound.


    The police can seize a car temporarily if it is evidence. They can seize a car permanently as a “forfeiture” if it was used in any sort of criminal activity, though libertarian-types object since the process doesn’t involve a conviction or even a judicial review (though the owner can sue, the owner has to prove his innocence, which is somewhat un-American). They will seize any care believed to be stolen. They also might seize a car if there is someone else claiming ownership. Many police forces fund part of their budget by seizing private cars, and many opposed to “big government” think this is totally corrupt and unconstitutional.

    If a person hires a lawyer, their chance of getting the car back is greatly improved.


    In NJ if you are caught importing Fireworks from Pennsylvania, they can impound your car once you get to NJ



    It’s not just Libertarians that have a problem with civil forfeiture laws. Anyone with half a pea brain understands there’s a problem.

    zahavasdad, because fireworks are such a terrible crime, and the vehicle was involved in transporting it, it’s legal to impound the car.

    Avi K

    שו”ע חו”מ ס’ שסט סע’ ח

    וכן מלך שכעס על אחד מעבדיו ושמשיו מבני המדינה ולקח שדהו או חצירו אינו גזל ומותר ליהנות בה והלוקחה מהמלך הרי הוא שלו ואין הבעלים מוציאין אותה מידו (וכ”כ לעיל ס”ס רל”ז)

    אבל מלך שלקח שדה או חצר של אחד מבני המדינה שלא בדינים שחקק הרי זה גזלן והלוקח ממנו מוציאין הבעלים מידו כללו של דבר כל דין שיחקוק אותו המלך לכל ולא יהיה לאדם אחד בפני עצמו אינו גזל וכל שיקח מאיש זה בלבד שלא כדת הידוע לכל אלא חמס את זה הרי זה גזל:

    הגה: ואם חקק לבעל אומנות אחד כגון שחקק למלוה בריבית איזה דבר י”א דלא אמרינן ביה דינא דמלכותא דינא הואיל ואינו חקוק לכל (מהרי”ק שורש ס”ו) י”א דלא אמרינן דינא דמלכותא דינא אלא במסים ומכסים התלוים בקרקע כי המלך גוזר שלא ידורו בארצו כי אם בדרך זה אבל בשאר דברים לא (הרא”ש פ”ד דנדרים בשם הר”מ ומרדכי פ’ הגוזל בתרא) וי”ח וסבירא להו דאמרינן בכל דבר דינא דמלכותא דינא (מרדכי שם בשם התוס’ ות”ה סי’ ש”ט) ולכן המלוה על המשכון יכול למכרו אחר שנה הואיל וכן דינא דמלכותא (שם בשם ר”י בר פרץ) וכן הוא עיקר וכמו שנתבאר לעיל סי’ שנ”ו סעיף ז’:

    In Israel there is also the din of cherem hakahal.


    Under Georgia law secrion 40-6-206

    (c) Any police officer is authorized to remove or cause to be removed to the nearest garage or other place of safety any vehicle found upon a highway when:
    (3) The person driving or in control of such vehicle is arrested for an alleged offense for which the officer is required by law to take the person arrested before a proper magistrate without unnecessary delay;

    Juda Louis

    On my Department, (Northern NJ Municipal Dept,) we impound for many things that include, Suspended Drivers license. (Although we have released the vehicle at scene to a responsible party) expired or suspended registration. I have personally impounded vehicles when drivers were suspended for non payment of child support There are mulitple reasons to impound a vehicle. Did you ask why it was impounded?
    Prior to towing, a usual inventory is taken (standard form on the tow sheet) Sometimes vehicles that are parked improperly and the plate is run, then its learned that the reg was suspended for non payment of parking tickets (scofflaw) then vehicle is held until payment or adjudication is made. Standard disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer nor have I played one on TV, yada yada…


    The reasons why a duly designated “law enforcement” officer, not just “police” may seize a vehicle or any other item of personal property are to lengthy to list here in a single posting. The laws vary between federal and state jurisdictions, and even within a single state, some local jurisdictions may have statutes authorizing seizure for reasons ranging from unpaid debt, the property being used in connection with a crime or have some evidentiary “materiality” in connection with a crime. The Federal rules authorizing seizure on among the most aggressive and are the subject of multiple lawsuits and have changed only modestly (as police in some state and local jurisdictions claimed that such property grabs provide a large percentage of their revenues).

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