October 9, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

The United States Supreme Court case of South Dakota v. Operman, 427 US 364 (1976) set for the following criteria for the lawful impound and inventory of a vehicle:

  1. The vehicle must be lawfully in police custody. For example, following a traffic stop or lawful arrest of a driver.
  2. The inventory must be for the purpose of listing the contents of the vehicle and not for an investigative purpose.
  3. The impound and inventory must be pursuant to a standard policy of the police department involved. Meaning, the impound and inventory cannot be left wholly to the discretion of the officer seeking to conduct the impound and inventory.

If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime in California or if you would like further information on the legality of a search and seizure, contact the skilled Southern California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today at 1-888-280-6839 or www.wklaw.com for a consultation of your case. We can help you.

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