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Can the police put a 30 day hold on my vehicle....if i wasn't charged for driving without a license?

Oakland, CA |

I was arrested for possession of a controlled substance11/22/09. However 4 days went by and i did not see a judge. No charges were filed. Now Oakland Police (CA) say my car can not be released because I had no license. I have a valid MI license. But they say my CA license was suspended. How Is that true? When driving in another state my MI license was substantial. I've been trying to contact the arresting officer to no avail. I hoped he could give me a release form for the car or attend a tow hearing. I do not have a lawyer. But since no driving offense was charged to me and the other charges weren't filed, how is the hold still true? Also my phone is not in my property or in evidence, and I hoped the officer may know where it went. But I can't get my car, my phone or contact him now what?

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Attorney answers 1


First of all, there are a number of ways in which this "punishment" is carried out on drivers without being found guilty. The defense bar runs into it all the time unfortunately.

Without more facts it's hard to give you an exact answer, but here's some information:

The laws in California require a person to obtain a California Driver's License within 10 days of becoming a resident.

Even if you don't have a CA driver's license, whenever something happens to you in a car in CA, they will create a CDL number that matches you. That license (that you've never acquired), can be suspended as a result of many violations, infractions, failures to pay, register, etc.

Having said that, it's possible that a mistake was made. For a non-attorney to contact any officer is near impossible. Your best bet would be to discuss the matter with the watch commander at your local police station.

I imagine your car is back in your possession by now, but I'd be happy to discuss with you if not.