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Columbus Vehicle Impound Attorney



    When Can Police in Columbus Impound My Vehicle?

    Under Columbus Traffic Code 2107.01, Columbus police, Ohio State Highway Patrol or any law enforcement officer may impound a vehicle when:

    • A vehicle is parked or abandoned, or parked with 5 or more outstanding parking tickets.
    • The vehicle has been reported stolen.
    • The driver has been arrested. 
    • The driver is ill or has been injured and removed from the vehicle.
    • A vehicle that “presents a risk of physical harm to persons or property including vehicles” – for example, vehicles that are releasing or leaking substances upon the environment.
    • The vehicle was “operated by a person while engaged in, or connected with, the commission of a crime.”
    • The driver does not have a valid driver’s license, the driver’s license is suspended, or the driver’s license has been revoked.
    • The vehicle was involved in an accident and the driver has failed to stop after such accident (a hit skip).
    • Equipment violations under the Columbus Traffic Code.
    • The vehicle was abandoned after an accident somewhere other than the owner’s residence

    Can I Get My Car Out of Impound?

    If your car has been impounded as a result of an OVI, hit skip, or other traffic or criminal charge and you would like advice on getting your car out of impound, talk to one of our Columbus traffic attorneys.

    Following a traffic or criminal charge (such as an OVI / DUI), one of the first things we explore is getting our client’s car out of impound.  Impound fees can pile up quickly in Columbus – talk to an attorney now about your options.

    Impound Vehicle Search (Inventory Search)

    When a car is impounded in Columbus as the result of an arrest, police will perform an inventory search of the car.   Under Ohio law, an inventory search must be done in good faith and “in accordance with reasonable standardized procedure(s) or established routine” of the local police department.

    For example, in order for police to open closed backpacks or other closed bags in a car, the department must have a specific policy allowing this.  If the local police department does not have a specific policy allowing certain types of searches, drugs or other illegal items found during the inventory search may be inadmissible in court.

    If you have questions about an inventory search of your impounded vehicle, talk to one of our attorneys today about the specifics of your case.