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How are long can a car be impounded in a police impound lot before a new charge can be brought against you ?

Marysville, WA |

Person with no priors was arrested on armed robbery was released on bail but impound lot won't release car due to hearsay and impound lot states they are waiting for search warrant. How long do they have to get judge to sign, especially
if it was hearsay from a felon.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

The police may keep the car as a potential crime/evidence with proper legal justification while investigating the pending criminal case.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

How long by law can they keep it? Isn't there A certain time allowed they keep before they must release?

Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

Posted

while investigating the pending criminal case.

Posted

At least until the search warrant is executed.

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Posted

The answer is a "reasonable" time a factor in that is the perceived reliability of the information. How long has it been?

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

12 days. The owner needs it for work. Is there any special rule if they don't get a warrant by x amount of time they must release it? They have not done anything it's just been sitting no search or anything.

Posted

It depends on the circumstances surrounding the commission of the underlying offense, the robbery, the circumstances surrounding the initial arrest and, what type of hearsay you are talking about and the purpose it is being offered. Hearsay is not a deathblow to a warrant by any means and if the police can establish they know the informant, prior felon, and lay a foundation that the informant's testimony is reliable then a judge will probably consider the statement(s). If it is an excited utterance then there is another independent basis for it to be admitted under the proper foundation. All the officers have to do is produce an affidavit to a judge indicating why they believe a search warrant is necessary and the facts/allegations supporting their belief that contraband will be found in the premises/area asked to be searched in the search warrant. The police have a reasonable amount of time to not only procure the warrant but also to execute the warrant. If the judge does not grant the search warrant under the first affidavit request the police can take additional time and file an amended affidavit alleging additional facts/circumstances justifying the issuance of the search warrant. That being said, if the car was used in the commission of the underlying offense either directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever, the police and prosecutors could possibly attempt to hold on to the car until the case is resolved as evidence of the underlying offense and its commission. The individual who owns the car should probably hire an attorney to make sure the car doesn't "fall through the cracks" and get forfeited, auctioned off by the police department, or tampered with AND to stop allowing storage fees to accrue.

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