Can your Vehicle be Impounded after a DUI in Orlando, Florida?
The Florida Statute Section 316.193(6)(d) requires courts to issue an order for the impoundment or immobilization of a person convicted of DUI unless the offender proves that exceptions apply. The timeframe required to impound the car does not start until the offender has served a period of incarceration.
Having your vehicle immobilized after you have been convicted of DUI in Florida is mandatory. According to the law, your car will be impounded for ten days. But it can’t be immobilized while you are serving a specific jail term. That means after you are convicted for DUI and sent to jail, the moment you get out your vehicle will be immobilized for ten days. An experienced Orlando DUI defense lawyer knows how to approach these situations and prevent your vehicle from being impounded.
Does it cost money
The shortest answer is ‘yes.’ Regardless of how the vehicle immobilization process works, prepare to pay money. Often, the vehicle is towed to an impound lot, and you will be responsible for the related towing expenses. In most cases, this fee ranges between $90 and several hundreds of dollars depending on the specific circumstances of the tow.
If there is a steering wheel or boot bar on your car that needs to be removed or your vehicle is in a condition where it can be pulled and should be put on a flatbed truck, you will be required to take care of such expenses. Besides, the distance the vehicle must be moved will add to the cost that you will be required to pay to the towing company.
Additionally, different cities charge varying amounts of impound fees. It is often a daily charge, and probably you will be required to pay a release fee. This can dramatically add up to several hundreds of dollars.
Sometimes, there are cheaper options to get your vehicle impounded. Your attorney can attempt to get these options when possible. For instance, if it’s your first-time DUI conviction, the court can allow your vehicle to remain in your home while immobilized.
That means it will be booted or you will be required to pay a company to install a steering wheel bar (or lock) on the car. Such companies charge a small daily fee, and at the end of the immobilization period, the company will issue a document to prove that you complied with the court order.
The requirement of car impoundment can be waived by the probation officer or the judge if you can show that your family members use that car and there are no other means of transportation. Besides, if you own a ‘work vehicle’ or if the vehicle is operated by your employee or owned by your business, it may not be impounded after your DUI conviction.
If such a ‘work vehicle’ or ‘hardship’ exception applies to your DUI case, your attorney must address the issue during the time of sentencing with the jury. If the court waives the immobilization requirement, your vehicle will not be impounded after your DUI conviction.