Police Towing/seizing an Arrested Person’s Vehicle

A. An officer may only impound a motor vehicle if the driver has been removed from it and placed under custodial arrest, ifthere is a reasonable connection between the arrest and the vehicle, and no other alternatives are available other than impoundment to ensure the protection of the vehicle.
B. Upon the request of the arrested driver, the officer must leave the motor vehicle at the scene of the arrest, provided the vehicle is legally parked and does not create a danger, hazard, or obstruction to others using the public streets or highways. If the arrested driver elects to leave the vehicle on a parking lot, the arresting officer must advise the person that the owner of the parking lot has the right to remove the vehicle.

C. Upon the request of the arrested driver, the officer may release the car to a third person, provided said person has a current driver’s license, can provide proof of insurance in and is not incapacitated in any manner.

D. If the arrested driver requests the officer to leave the vehicle at the scene or to release the vehicle to a third person, the driver must be requested to sign a vehicle disposition form absolving Fort Worth and its agents of any responsibility for the vehicle or its contents. The arresting officer must prepare two (2) copies of the form, with the original forwarded to the Records Division and a copy given to the arrested person.

E. Unless the circumstances as described in paragraph A exist, the arresting officer is not responsible for the prisoner’s motor vehicle, and the vehicle must not be impounded by the department. However, the vehicle may still be impounded if it falls within any of the other paragraphs of this general order which allow impoundment.
F. If a motor vehicle is not impounded under the provisions of this order, the arresting officer must honor the arrested person’s request to remove the motor vehicle, if said vehicle is at or near the scene of the arrest. The person may request a wrecker service of their own choosing or a referral service wrecker to remove the vehicle. This request must be made in writing on the wrecker selection form. The arrested person may likewise request that the vehicle be im- pounded by the department, in which event the person must execute a vehicle disposition form. The arresting officer must inform the arrested party that they are responsible for towing and storage fees and that the vehicle will be inventoried.

G. Officers must not drive an arrested person’s vehicle. If the vehicle is to be impounded, the vehicle must be towed by a wrecker. This does not prevent the officer, in an emergency situation, from driving or pushing the vehicle to a safer location to await the arrival of the wrecker.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez