Impounded vehcile in Colorado

This is a discussion on Impounded vehcile in Colorado within the Traffic & Speeding Tickets forum, part of the CRIMINAL LAW, ARRESTS, TRAFFIC TICKETS category; Hello, I have had a situation that I could use some advice on; maybe someone can help me out here? ...

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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #1

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Default Impounded vehcile in Colorado

Hello, I have had a situation that I could use some advice on; maybe someone can help me out here? I would sure appreciate it.

The case I am about to discuss actually pertains to my younger brother. We both live in the state of Colorado and this incident occurred in October 2010.

My brother purchased a used 1994 Honda Civic from a private owner, I loaned him the huge amount of $700 (LOL) to pay for the car. We picked the vehicle up from the previous owner’s house. My brother had the Title, a Bill of Sale, and proof of insurance on his person, but did not have license plates on the vehicle. He was pulled over on his way home for not having a license plate. The officer eventually impounded his vehicle for not having a VIN number on the dashboard, yet issued him no citation of any kind and was kind enough to give him a ride home.

Upon the initial traffic stop, my brother produced all the required documentation, Title, Bill of Sale and proof of insurance which makes it completely legal to operate a motor vehicle without a license plate within 36 hours of the purchase and traveling directly to the new owner’s residence. However, my brother is rather timid, and the officer took full advantage of that fact. My brother does not remember giving the officer permission to search the vehicle, but concedes that he must have done so. The officer then called in the drug unit and had a K-9 search the vehicle, which turned up nothing. He then inspected the vehicle himself and found that the VIN number that is supposed to be affixed to the dashboard was missing. There were two additional VIN plates, one on the door jam and one on the inside of the firewall, both of which matched, and which matched the title. Despite the fact that my brother had possession of the matching and correct title, he impounded the vehicle anyway, reporting that the lack of the dashboard VIN number makes it an illegal vehicle.

And it gets worse. Several days later, they let him get his vehicle from the impound lot, provided that he have it flatbed towed to his residence, because it is an illegal vehicle. This cost nearly half the value of the car, $350. Now the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) is withholding his title and bill of sale pending the dashboard VIN plate correction, which can only be made at a central location in Denver. So he must have the vehicle flatbed towed to the VIN number fix-it center, whatever that is, to get his title back.

I can find no documentation in the Colorado statues requiring a dashboard VIN number. Why does this make the vehicle illegal?

I have several additional problems here as well. First he was legally operating the vehicle without license plates and had all of the documentation to prove it. I completely understand the traffic stop, but the officer should have realized he was legal and immediately sent him on his way; what gave him the inclining, or even the right, to call in the drug dog?

Second and maybe most importantly; can someone explain to me exactly how you get your vehicle impounded, yet receive no citation of any kind?

I am not an expert on VIN numbers, nor is my brother, nor are you required to be to purchase a vehicle from a private owner. How exactly we were supposed to know and avoid this situation?

I have not yet made any phone calls, but I intend to shove this back at them with a candle on it. Effectively they stole his car. He was issued no citation, had his vehicle impounded, and now nearly 3 months later, still does not have the title. If anyone can toss me a bone here I would greatly appreciate it. Is it just me or this about the most jacked up scenario around?

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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #2

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Default Re: Impounded vehcile in Colorado

Ask the chief of the police to release it; go to court and ask a judge if you must.
Most likely the judge will release it.
You can file for a hearing yourself even without a lawyer if need be.

The police often will tell you exactly what form you can use--they are tax paid workers working for you.
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 01:42 PM   #3

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Default Re: Impounded vehcile in Colorado

Yeah, but what gave them the right to impound the vehicle in the first place. I want someone’s head on a plate - this is police incompetence at its' finest. This is America, you can't just make **** up and hope no one calls you out, stealing cars and titles in the meantime.

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