What to do about impound charges if I was pulled over for allegedly running a red light and arrested for a charge which was later dropped?

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What to do about impound charges if I was pulled over for allegedly running a red light and arrested for a charge which was later dropped?

When the cop approached my car he asked my insurance and as I’m looking for the paper he asked me to step out of the car. He then placed me in handcuffs and placed me in the back of his car. He then escorted my passenger out of the car hand cuffed him and sat him on the curb. Then with no consent begin searching my car. Then he came to me while in the back seat with some crumb of some sort and assumed it was crack cocaine and arrested me for possesion and also towed my car. I was booked into jail but a few hours later told I was being released because what he found was not crack, which I knew. I was released and then still had to pay for my car to get out of the impound.

Asked on May 4, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As long as the officer was acting within the scope of his employment, he has a general immunity for his actions.  If he found something per a legal search that looked like a crack rock, then the agency would not be liable for your impound fees.  If you can prove that the stop was merely a pretext to harrass you for matters outside of his scope of employment (like he is retaliating against you for dating his ex-girl friend), then you might be able to breach his immunity protection. 

You have a couple of different options.  The first is to let a criminal defense attorney review the facts of your case and the offense report to see if there was even a basis for the stop, the search or the arrest.  From there, you may be able to go to the head of the local agency or the DA's office and file a complaint-- sometimes that will get one or the other to pay your towing fees.  Often it's cheaper for them to pay the fee rather than defend a lawsuit.


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