Illegal Search Defense Attorneys in New Jersey

Impound and Inventory Search in Bergen County NJ

Often times someone will park their car just to run inside a store for minute and when they return they find out that their car has been impound. There are countless reasons for why one’s car might be impounded, for instance, the police may impounded your vehicle because it was unregistered or even uninsured. To make matters worse you might have some type of incriminating evidence contained within your car, some form of evidence of a crime. Once your car is impounded, the police are going to conduct what is known as an inventory search. The main reason for an inventory search is because the police department has a duty to protect the owner’s property once it is within their control.

In New Jersey, an impounding of a car and a subsequent inventory search must meet strict procedural guidelines before it will be considered valid. The officer conducting the search must give the driver of the motor vehicle a reasonable opportunity to make other arrangements for the care of the vehicle before they are allowed to impound it an obviously conduct an inventory search. This rule is granted to both the individual who is taken into custody or for an individual who is going to be given a summons and subsequently released from the scene. However, this right can be forfeited if the individual voluntarily consents to the impounding of his or her vehicle.

Further, New Jersey has invoked certain statutes which may override the reasonable opportunity requirement. Under N.J.S.A. 39:3-4, a police officer is allowed to remove any unregistered vehicle from a public highway to a storage space or garage, conversely, a motorist who is stopped for operating an unregistered motor vehicle may be able to remove the vehicle off the highway to a secure parking lot. Also, under N.J.S.A. 39:4-136, the police may remove from the roadway any disabled or unattended vehicle that blocks traffic. Further, the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission has been given the authority to require the seizure of a motor vehicle when they believe that the motor vehicle is stolen or being operated under any other suspicious circumstances. In other words, a stolen motor vehicle or a vehicle left unattended in violation of the law will be impounded, without an opportunity for the operator to move the car to a safe spot. An obviously, you can expect an inventory search to be conducted following these particular types of incidents.

However, even if your motor vehicle is going to be impounded, the occupants of the motor vehicle still retain the right to make other arrangements for their personal possessions that are contained within the vehicle prior to the inventory search of an impounded motor vehicle. In the alternative, if you do not give consent for an inventory search, an inventory search may not be conducted and as a result you forfeit your right to make a claim for lost, damaged or stolen property.

Was your vehicle search illegally?

It is important for you to understand your rights. If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances of having your car impounded, it is important to make sure the police followed the proper procedure before the car was either impound or an inventory search was conducted. Therefore, if your car is impounded; an inventory search is conducted and you feel the police failed to follow the proper procedures, please contact one of our experienced attorneys at 1-00-682-4037 and well be happy to assist you.