San Francisco, CA asked in Criminal Law for Texas

Q: my car is being held on and investigative hold at the impound what can i do

i let my friend use my car to run some errands they ended up going to a verizon store and stole a phone and got into a physical altercation with the store employee and then ran away they dropped the keys and the cops impounded the car and it is on an investigative hold what car i do or is their anything that i can do in this situation?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If the facts are as you claim and you were unaware your friends were headed to the Verizon store to commit a strong-arm robbery, you are an innocent victim just like the phone company. Well, not JUST like the phone company, but innocent nonetheless.

Who told you your vehicle has an investigative hold on it? If it was a guy who works at the impound lot, he's probably telling you the truth. Police sometimes DO put an investigative hold on an impounded vehicle, but it's almost always a lie. The reason is this: cops have to be pretty incompetent to need more than an hour or two to process a vehicle for evidence.

If a detective or other police officer told you there's an investigative hold on your car, he's almost certainly lying to you. Did he tell you not to worry about impound charges (because as long as there's an investigative hold on it, there are no daily "storage" fees)?

You said your friends "dropped" the keys? You sure they didn't throw them at a cop to slow him down? The last time I heard a similar tale, the poice were really mad at my client. They told his poor wife they were investigating the car, but fees wouldn't even begin to accrue until the hold was lifted. In that case the detective was flat-out lying to the innocent wife. She believed the cop and left the car in the impound over the weekend, only to find out they sold the only transportation she had early Monday morning at auction for pennies on the dollar. Just to harm her and her husband.

You should get a lawyer and have her get hold of a judge and get that vehicle released. Even if the judge won't intervene, at least the police will know a judge is aware of the situation. Might save you having to buy another car.

Sad when you have to decide if the cops are the good guys or the bad guys on a case by case basis.

Roy Lee Warren and Kiele Linroth Pace agree with this answer

Roy Lee Warren
Roy Lee Warren
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • San Marcos, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I would also add to the other answer by saying you my be able to contact the County Sheriff and ask if the car is still on hold and when you can pick it up from the towing yard. I would caution you not to give any statements to the police w/o speaking with a lawyer. Good luck.

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