In at least 28 cities in California law enforcement can seize and sell your car if they believe that it was being used to sell drugs or to engage in prostitution. These laws have led to a high number of people losing their valuable property. The cities claimed in a recent court of appeals case that they need to have this additional tool (to seize and sell the vehicle) as another tool to fight crime.
However, the California Supreme Court recently ruled that cities CANNOT enforce such ordinances. The court held that state laws on the seizure of vehicles must control. This means that local city ordinances that have such laws as to seizure and sell vehicles cannot be enforced if their laws are more stringent than California state laws.
If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle has been seized due to an arrest please be certain to contact a qualified criminal defense law firm. At Wallin and Klarich we have almost thirty years of experience assisting clients in these situations. Feel free to contact us for a free case evaluation.