Cars get towed almost every day all over the world for various reasons. A car can be towed off public or private property and can be done by the police, the property owner, or even a neighbor.
It is not uncommon for a car to be towed without the owner being aware, depending on the state, there may be a requirement that the owner is informed before the car is towed.
However, the question is, can the police tow your car from your driveway?
Yes, the police can tow your car from your driveway if the car was used to commit a crime, the tag has expired, it is a junk car, it is parked on a curb, or if it matches the description of a stolen car.
Can Police Tow Your Car from Your Driveway?
Yes, the police can tow your car from your driveway however, the legality of this depends on your state of residence.
In some states, the police can tow your car from your driveway provided there is evidence that you have violated a law.
Also, in some states, before the police can tow your car, there must have been noticing given to inform you of the fact that you are violating a law by parking your car in your driveway.
What Can Make the Police Tow Your Car from Your Driveway?
The police can tow your car from your driveway for various reasons, some of such as:
1. Expired Tag
Car tags are stickers that are given at the DMV when a car is registered to be placed on the license plate. These tags are valid for a year after which it expires and you will have to get a renewal.
If you however decide not to have it renewed, you are violating a law for which the police can tow your car. An expired car tag can cause the police to tow your car from your driveway.
2. Junk Car
Junk cars are cars that are no longer worthy to be driven on the road, these cars are most times sold as scrap value to the junkyard.
By law, these cars shouldn’t be parked in public even if it’s in your driveway. If you have a junk car parked in your driveway, the police can tow it.
3. Parking on the Curb
Parking on the curb is another reason why the police can have your car towed. It doesn’t matter if the curb is in front of your driveway.
4. If it Matches the Description of a Stolen Car
The police can also tow your car from your driveway if it matches the description they have of a stolen car. In a situation like this, not only will the car be towed, but the thief will also be punished as auto theft is a serious offense in most states.
What to Do If Police Tow Your Car from Your Driveway?
When you find out the police have towed your car from your driveway, you should:
- Find the Location of the Car: If you realize the police have towed your car from your driveway, the first course of action should be to find where it was towed by contacting your local police department. Most likely the police will employ the services of a tow company or have it parked at the police premises. The police are always in the best position to help you find the location of your towed car.
- Find Out Why it Was Towed: Once your car’s location has been determined, you should also find out why it was towed, what law you violated, etc. With this information, you can proceed to check what the state law says about that particular offense and find out how you can get your car back.
- Ask for Release: Even if you have violated the law, you have a right to ask that your car be released. Not asking will mean you don’t want the car back and the police or tow company can lay claim to it. If you are in the wrong, there will be a need for you to pay a fee before your car can be released to you. The fee payable depends on the tow company or the police.
- Court’s Order for Release: It is possible that the tow company or police does not release the car when you ask, in which case you may need to get a court order to have it released. You can petition the court for release until the case is resolved if the car was subject to immobilization after conviction of the offense for which it was charged.
Can the Police Tow the Car Without a Warrant?
Yes, the police can tow your car without a warrant however, this does not apply in all states.
The police are an agent of the state and therefore have the legal right to tow your car even without a warrant. Your car can be towed if it is violating any of the state’s laws as it relates to vehicles.
If your car was towed by the police without a warrant and you are not sure what the law says about it, you should find out as it will help you in determining the next step to take in getting it back.
How Long Can Police Hold a Vehicle Under Investigation?
The length of time for which the police can hold a car under investigation depends on what the state law says about it amongst other factors.
In most cases, the car is expected to be released to its owner within 30 days. However, if at the end of 30 days, the investigation is still on, the court can extend the time given to the police.
In the event that the car is an important part of an investigation, it can’t be released until the investigation is complete.
In some other situations, after an investigation, the car may not be released to its owner if it is found guilty and depending on the situation surrounding the whole incident.
Bear in mind that the car can be released within a period shorter than 30 days, but 30 days should be the maximum, all things being equal.
Parking in the driveway in itself is not legal in any state, when it becomes illegal is if it is violating a law such as having an expired tag or if it’s a junk car, in which case, the police can have it towed, but it still depends on the state.