How long can the police hold my car for investigation?

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2011

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How long can the police hold my car for investigation?

Stopped by the police – no traffic violation or any other reason. The cop said he knows I stole the rusted metal in my truck. Impounded the truck. I have not been charged but they said they can’t release the truck with the metal in it. They are waiting for someone to ID the metal. What if no one comes?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Law enforcement can impound your vehicle as a result of a criminal investigation and keep it impounded for a reasonable amount of time. What is deemed reasonable depends upon the circumstances of each case.

I suggest that since you are under investigation for a crime and you want the return of your vehicle, you should consider consulting with a criminal defense attorney to discuss whether you actually did anything wrong with respect to the metal in your vehicle and how to get the return of your vehicle sooner rather than later.

If you lawfully have possession of the metal in your vehicle, you should cooperate with law enforcement so that you can get the release of your vehicle sooner rather than later.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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