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If you’re arrested for a DUI in Tempe, AZ, it’s not just you who gets taken away in the back of a police car, but your car can be towed away and impounded as well. For residents who’ve never experienced this process, it can be jarring or surprising to learn that they may not get their car back for nearly a month. At Weingart Law Firm, our experienced team of attorneys understands that having your vehicle impounded impacts more than yourself; it can affect your family, work, and home life as well.
The police can only impound your vehicle if you are legally arrested, only after using a portable breath test. This means that if you refuse to take the breath test, your vehicle cannot be impounded. But in the circumstances that you are arrested for a DUI charge, and your vehicle is impounded, here are some frequently asked questions and answers that you should be prepared for.
Vehicle impoundment is when a vehicle is held in an impoundment lot typically run by the local police department. The purpose of the lot is to hold cars until the owner claims it. If unclaimed, the cars are auctioned off.
In Arizona, cars that are impounded must remain in the impound lot for up to 30 days. However, there are special circumstances where the car can be released early. To find out more, contact our office for a free case consultation to determine if you’re eligible to have your car released early.
If you are not the owner of the vehicle you were driving, the lawful owner of the vehicle can retrieve it from the impound lot right away. However, if you are married then your spouse can also request a hearing under the Community Property laws, in order to release the car early.
If this is your situation, again you can contact us at the Weingart Law Firm to learn more about how we can help retrieve your vehicle sooner, even if you weren’t the one driving it.
Yes. Just because your car is released early, does not mean that the fees disappear. In terms of what you’re paying for, it’s typically fees for the administrative, towing, and storage facility.
Unfortunately, if ownership of the car is transferred during its impoundment, it will still need to complete the 30 day hold. After the 30 days has expired, the vehicle can be removed.
If you have been arrested on a DUI charge and your vehicle was impounded, contact us right away for the best possible outcome. Oftentimes the circumstances around your arrest, such as the portable breath test, can be used in your defense. Remember, if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you are not obligated to take the roadside breathalyzer test. If you don’t take the test, they cannot impound your vehicle. Our experienced team of attorneys is ready to assist you, so contact us if you’re arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Tempe, AZ or other surrounding areas.