Can a vehicle be impounded if they cannot contact the owner?

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2012

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Can a vehicle be impounded if they cannot contact the owner?

I was at work and cannot answer my cell phone. My son was pulled over after giving a ride to a friend, who police claim fit the description of someone, a gentlemen claimed took his wallet off a counter at a local store. The gentleman did not see this person or any person actually take his wallet. He just knew his wallet was missing. The police could not get a hold of the surveillance tape. As soon as the man who fit the description got into the car with my son the police immediately put on their lights and pulled my son over. He had not even travelled 20 feet.

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If law enforcement has probable cause to believe that a crime has immediately occurred, it can do whatever is necessary to protec the general public, including but not limited to the circumstances that you have written about. In your question a report was made about a possible theft of a wallet and a person matching that description reported was in your son's vehicle.

From what you have written, what transpired was legally proper concerning the stop of your son's vehicle by law enforcement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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