If your car has been impounded, your first thought is usually what steps you can take to get it back. Whether or not a towing company can legally keep your car depends on why it was towed in the first place. Fortunately for you, in most circumstances, getting your car back is a very real possibility. Here is what you need to know about the different types of impoundment.
Law Enforcement Impounds
Law enforcement agencies, such as your local police department, can call a towing company to impound your vehicle. In order for your vehicle to be impounded, the officer has to have just cause. For instance, if you are stopped by an officer and do not have insurance, and if your city has an ordinance against driving uninsured, your vehicle can be towed.
In order to get your car back from the towing company, you will need to meet certain criteria. For instance, you might have to show proof of coverage, your driver's license, or that you have cleared up any fines that prevented you from legally driving.
The best way to determine what criteria you need to meet is to contact the law enforcement agency that ordered your car impounded. Contact the towing company if you do not know which agency ordered the tow.
Private Party Impound
Businesses, such as restaurants and apartment complexes, often have warnings posted about parking on their property. The warning usually states that unauthorized vehicles in the lot will be towed. This usually applies to people who are not customers or residents.
If your vehicle was towed at the request of a business, you could be required to only pay for the cost of the tow. Depending on the state in which you live, the towing company might not have legal grounds to hold your car if you do not pay the fine. At the most, the company can bill you for towing and storing the car.
The company could file a claim in court to force you to pay the fees, so it might be easier to just pay.
University Ordered Tow
Some states have laws that allow universities and other educational institutions to tow vehicles that have racked up fees related to parking, speed, and authorized hours of use. For instance, in Arizona, a car can be towed and held by the towing company until the fees are paid. Depending on the circumstances, you have the right to ask for an administrative ruling regarding whether or not the fees were rightful placed on your car.
If your car has been impounded, the best way to handle the situation is to contact the party responsible for the tow and find out what requirements you must meet to get your car back. If you need a car towed, contact Northern Diesel Ltd.