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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4374
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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on 11/9/12 I got arrested for driving on a suspended Ls /possesion

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on 11/9/12 I got arrested for driving on a suspended L's /possesion of Marijuanan/no reg/ no insurance.........

My car got impounded for 30 days.

I never recieved a courtesy notice in the mail.

The ticket said to go to court on or before 1/28/13

When I went to court they said that no charges had been pressed yet.

just today I got in the mail a certificate of release. referencing penal code 851.6

also referencing subdivision (b) of penal code section 849
and penal code 849.5.

what does all this mean????

849(b) establishes when an officer can release a person who has been arrested without going before a judge or magistrate. Normally, once a person is arrested, only a magistrate can release them by setting bail or releasing them on their own recognizance. There are 3 circumstances in which an officer can do it without going to a magistrate...when the officer doesn't think there are grounds for a criminal complaint, when the person is arrested for intoxication only and the officer doesn't think further proceedings are required, or the person was under the influence of drugs and they were taken to a hospital for treatment and the officer thinks no further action is required.

849.5 and 851.6 deal with how that type of situation appears on your record. It basically says that if you are released by the officer and the officer does not follow up with charges, then the arrest on your record is converted to a detention. The effect of that is described as this:

"(b) In any case in which a person is arrested and released and no accusatory pleading is filed charging him with an offense, the person shall be issued a certificate by the law enforcement agency which arrested him describing the action as a detention. (d) Any reference to the action as an arrest shall be deleted from the arrest records of the arresting agency and of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation of the Department of Justice. Thereafter, any such record of the action shall refer to it as a detention."

So basically, it sounds like the officer got you for a minor offense and decided for whatever reason not to follow up with formal charges, so the arrest will now be listed on your record as a detention instead.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so does that mean that they arent pressing charges on all counts? or could it be just for part of it?


there were (4) counts;


driving on suspended

Possesion of Hashish

non registration

no insurance


and if they are not pursuing any charges what about the $2300 that I paid to the tow yard?? Because if they are not pressing any charges than how can my car be impounded for 30 day.....

It sounds like they are not. It doesn't mean they can't change their minds and pursue some of the charges but if they sent you all that paperwork it sounds like they are disposing of it without charges.

It would be difficult for you to win in a case to get your money back, however. Your car was held because a crime was committed whether they choose to prosecute you or to cut you a break. All they have to show is that you were suspended and the vehicle was uninsured and unregistered to prove they had the right to tow it. A criminal prosecution is not required to have authority to tow the car...just probable cause that the crime(s) had been committed.
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