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CRIMINAL LAW

Roadside Confiscation (Impoundment)

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THE POLICE CAN IMPOUND (CONFISCATE) YOUR CAR

The vehicle you are driving will be impounded if you are caught driving when:

OFFENCES

  • you have been disqualified
  • your driver licence has been suspended or revoked
  • you don't hold a licence, or your licence has expired,  and you have been forbidden to drive by a police officer until you have obtained or renewed your licence.

RACING & HOONING

Your vehicle can  be impounded if you are racing (eg, drag racing) or performing 'street car stunts' (eg, wheel spins); or if you commit a drink drive offence and have two previous drink drive convictions in the last four years.

You will be given an impoundment notice by the Police, who will call for a tow truck to take the vehicle away to a storage facility.

You will have to pay the towing and storage fees before you can get the vehicle back. The period of impoundment is 28 days. After that is finished, you have 10 days in which to claim the vehicle and pay the fees (or make arrangements to pay the fees).

If the vehicle was impounded because you were racing or doing street car stunts, you must get a new warrant of fitness before the vehicle may be driven again. This means you have to take the vehicle straight from the storage facility to a garage or testing station for a warrant of fitness inspection.

What happens if the driver isn't the owner?

Vehicle owners have an obligation to ensure that only licensed drivers use their vehicles, and that drivers use their vehicles responsibly. However, there are some circumstances where vehicle owners can appeal against roadside vehicle impoundment.

Appeals?

You can make an appeal only on the grounds that:

  • the impounded vehicle was stolen or converted at the time it was impounded
  • the Police officer didn't have reasonable grounds for, or didn't follow proper procedures in, determining the impoundment
  • the owner of the vehicle didn't know, and couldn't reasonably have been expected to know, that the driver was unlicensed or disqualified
  • the owner took all reasonable steps to prevent the unlicensed driver from driving
  • the owner of the vehicle didn't know, and couldn't reasonably have been expected to know,

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Feedback/Reviews/Blogs
"Great stuff. Helped me understand the police powers. Also good stuff on other criminal law topics. Manu - Papatoetoe"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"I find this topic really helpful as well as all the topics under the "Weekend Arrest" topic. This is the sort of basic informatin which needs to be taught in schools. Don't you agree?"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"What do you do if you actually arrest someone?
David K - Timaru.

Netlaw replies - You must deliver that person forthwith to a Police officer. You must not use unreasonable force."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"Easy to follow. I suggest to other cliemts of Netlaw that they read your topics SPEEDING as well as DEFENDING YOURSELF IN COURT. Nic - Auckland"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"Has the law now changed? You used to be able to apply for a disqualification removal after 6 months of any disqualification. Dave H. - Albany

NETLAW replies: Yes. That ability has now gone. You need to read this topic carefully and note that there has been a law change,"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"I found all your criminal law topics fascinating. I may become a criminal myself just to use your site. Nah, only joking but I liked Self Defence, Citizens Arrest and Drink Driving and Demerit Points.

Henk - Waikato"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"WOW . . . a great site. This topic alone is worth the entry fee. I also did my own will and had it checked by a lawyer neighbour and he said it was perfectly OK. Matt G."
"I agree heaps. I actually followed this topic to the letter and got my limited licencemyself. It took a couple of weeks but reckon it could be done in a week. Everything you said happened. The cops were good and the judge was very nice. I only had to mumble "thank you". Noel G.
"

"Received phone call from the police today, they have told me they will NOT oppose anything set out in my limited licence application. They were very impressed that I had done all the work myself. Thanks NETLaw - Jake, Christchurch.

Netlaw replies: Thank you for teling us. We have had a similar letter from Auckland Central."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"Dear Netlaw . . . it was really helpful to realise the difficultes in getting suppression of name and to get some of the caselaw. It allowed me to prepare a lot better. I had a silly shoplifting case but I am in my early thirties and I really wanted name suppression. You guys really helped. Also, you other sites are dazzling. Becs (not my real name)
"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Aiding and Abetting - Parties to Offences
"WOW . . . a great site. This topic alone is worth the entry fee. I also did my own will and had it checked by a lawyer neighbour and he said it was perfectly OK. Matt G."
"I agree heaps. I actually followed this topic to the letter and got my limited licencemyself. It took a couple of weeks but reckon it could be done in a week. Everything you said happened. The cops were good and the judge was very nice. I only had to mumble "thank you". Noel G.
"

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