Many Gibsonton Criminal Defense Attorneys are often asked by their clients, after they have bonded out of jail, about their vehicle being impounded and towed. Generally, yes, is the most complete response as to whether their vehicle has been towed and impounded. In very few situations, law enforcement cannot tow the vehicle, like someone being arrested at their home, with the vehicle in the driveway, or situations, where a reliable individual is present to take care and custody of the vehicle.
As you can imagine, the circumstances of the arrest are going to severely dictate the terms of whether law enforcement believes someone is “reliable”. For example, if an individual is arrested for DUI late on a Friday evening, law enforcement is going to be extremely hesitant to release the vehicle given the circumstances of the account. While law enforcement may be more apt to release the vehicle to someone in a vehicle, when the driver is arrested for driving while license suspended or revoked on a Sunday afternoon, with no allegations of drug or alcohol involvement. Florida law enforcement is required to comply with strict, written directives as to which tow company completes the towing, as they have contracts with the municipality. This is primarily focused on minimizing law enforcement’s civil exposure in the event of something happening to someone’s vehicle, while in law enforcement’s custody.
Most importantly, law enforcement will search the vehicle prior to it being towed pursuant to an “inventory search”. This search is based in the idea that folks would rather have law enforcement search and document their vehicle, as opposed to it being taken to a tow yard without any records what actually is in the vehicle. Many folks are extremely upset by this search, but Florida courts have continually upheld these searches as constitutional and permissible under Florida law.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning inventory searches or searches of automobiles in general, contact the Gibsonton Criminal Defense Attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have literally handled thousands of criminal cases throughout the Tampa Bay Area. If you would like to contact one of our Gibsonton Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Gibsonton criminal defense lawyer blog and look forward to working with you.