California Car Seizures Illegal

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

California cops have been seizing automobiles driven by [alleged] drug buyers or johns and forcing them to pay $200 to $2k impound fees to get them back. Now, they have to stop (the cities involved that is). FOX40 News reports that the California State Supreme Court has ruled that the municipalities were overstepping their legal bounds. By impounding the cars, the cities were exceeding the penalties imposed by state and federal laws; only the state can dole out penalties for drug or prostitution- related offenses. The ruling doesn't affect similar laws that allow police to seize cars participating in street racing or "sideshows." Chicago, Miami and other U.S. cities may have to follow suit– or face being subject to one.

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  • Jdizzle Jdizzle on Jul 27, 2007

    My nephew got his '03 Focus confiscated by the Detroit police because he made the mistake of driving a buddy to buy some weed. Oh sure, he could have gotten it back, but the fees and fines made it impossible to do so. Did he do a dumb thing? You bet. Did he deserve to have his car, for all practical purposes, stolen from him? Uh, no.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Jul 28, 2007

    New York City tried this same nonsense a few years back, seizing vehicles of suspected DUI's, johns, drug dealers, etc. The State Supreme court threw their version of the law out as well. Giving due process it's proper due.

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Jul 28, 2007

    Another point most people don't realize is that when the loan amount is anywhere close to the value of the vehicle, the authorities virtually never seize the vehicle as the only reason they do so is to raise revenue by selling off the car. The catch is they have to pay the bank loan. If there is no profit, then the car is not taken

  • Dolo54 Dolo54 on Jul 28, 2007

    That's why I ride a skateboard to pick up hookers.