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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    3

    Default Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: CALIFORNIA
    Hi,
    I own a small auto wholesale in Los Angeles,CA . A month ago, my brother was driving one of the cars that I had just purchased with my permission and for the purpose of passing smog.ĒHe is not working for me and he just did this as a favor to me as I had asked him to do soĒ.
    He then was stopped by the LA county sheriff deputy.At the time he was stopped the car was carrying a current dealer plate and he had his driverís license and his insurance along with the carís bill of sale issued by the seller auction.He tried to explain to deputy that the car was dealerís car and he had the paperwork but the deputy didnít accept his explanation and insisted that he must give him a misdemeanor ticket for ďmisuse of dealer plateĒ and also must impound the car since carís record had shown some unpaid DMV registration fees.My brother then called me and I could talk to the deputy over the phone and asked him to allow me to go and get the car myself as I was only few miles away and Iím the owner of the plate and the dealership.I explained to him over the phone that the vehicle is not a personal car and it had a current dealer plate on it ,but he didnít accept my explanations and had the car impounded and confiscated my dealer plate.I should explain this here that it is still unclear for us that why the sheriff deputy had stopped my brother at the first place despite the fact that the car had a current dealer plate on it and it was in normal condition for driving and my brother was not violating any traffic rules.
    I have been to Sheriff department couple of times and had the original title and bill of sale with me but they still do not release the car and ask me to go have the car registered and then come back.I explained to them again that this is a dealer car and I need to have the car released in order to process the DMV registration but they do not release it.So my questions are: Could the deputy have the car impounded while the car was carrying a current dealer license (new sticker till December 2021) and a valid bill of sale that had been issued by an official auto auction?
    Also,why does the sheriff department still not release the car despite the fact I have the original title and bill of sale?and my last question is if there is any chance that the ticket that was issued to my brother could be dismissed by the judge considering all above facts.
    Thanks so much in advance for your opinion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,838

    Default Re: Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    ”He is not working for me..."
    This is problem number one. This is not an allowed user of dealer plates. Use of the dealer plates is restricted to a list of people nearly all of which must be employees of the dealership.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,144

    Default Re: Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    Quote Quoting ALAN 1
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    Thanks so much in advance for your opinion.
    You could get 100 opinions on the internet and none of them will do you any good. If you want to take this to court the car will sit in the impound lot racking up fees for months.

    You're between a rock and a hard place. Take all your paperwork personally to the DMV, pay the past due fees and get the car titled and registered to you or your business. Then go get the car. Don't send your brother.

    As for your brother's citation, he's free to plead not guilty and see how that goes. Perhaps a consultation with a lawyer is in order.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    3

    Default Re: Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    Thanks for the comment. Actually,the car is not an expensive one,so I don't really worry about the car,I have the title and bail of sale that show I had purchased it from the auction at the time the car was impounded by Los Angeles Sheriff. My concern is what the consequence would be for my brother and my business considering the ticket has been issued under Misdemeanor "misuse of dealer plate".I thought I could ask him to give me a hand by driving the car for a few miles to be ready for smog.We both have clean driving records and it is the first time that my brother has got a ticket to go to court.Do you have any idea about the possible fine for my brother or for my business? Thanks

    Thanks for the comment.I thought I could ask him to give me a hand by driving the car for a few miles to be ready for smog.Do you have any idea what the consequence would be for my brother and my business considering the ticket has been issued under Misdemeanor "misuse of dealer plate".We both have clean driving records and it is the first time that my brother has got a ticket to go to court.Do you have any idea about the possible fine for my brother or for my business? Thanks

    Thanks for the comment.I thought I could ask him to give me a hand by driving the car for a few miles to be ready for smog.Do you have any idea what the consequence would be for my brother and my business considering the ticket has been issued under Misdemeanor "misuse of dealer plate".We both have clean driving records and it is the first time that my brother has got a ticket to go to court.Do you have any idea about the possible fine for my brother or for my business? Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,838

    Default Re: Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    If he is the one charged, it's not going to affect your record at all. He's the one who needs a lawyer. The point he will probably want to make is that despite the casual arrangment you had, he was working for you "as an employee" doing an task that the dealer plates are authorized to be used for. The problem was that the dealer plates do not allow the "brother of the dealer" to drive around in an otherwise unregistered car.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    My brother has posted in an another forum and you have left couple of comments and have accused us of lying. We thought we are getting advice from a professional but in your case I guess we were wrong.We are reaching out to get some advice since this is the first time something like this has ever happened to me,what's the point for us to even lie??!!to get wrong advice based on a lie??!!are you even serious? I'm not sure what you have said is accusation or lack of knowledge but just to educate you a little."check engine light" could come up for various reasons and most of the time it is related to the fuel system.For instance,if you don't tighten the gas cap after you gas up, light may come up quickly and would go away if you drive it for twenty or thirty miles. I scanned the computer on this car and the code was showing issue with the airflow system. I removed the air filter and had it cleaned and put it back . I then decided to have my brother to drive it for 20-30 miles to see if the light wouldn't come back again so that way I could resell it at the auction with peace of mind as auto wholesale dealer.This is recommended by the mechanics and is not something to do to make a shortcut.In fact,if there was an issue with the car and the light would come back on,we could have it fixed.Of course, we really appreciate others comments and we know what to do now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,838

    Default Re: Dealer Car Was Impounded Due to Unpaid DMV Fees

    We gave you advice, but you led me to believe that your brother was taking the car out to have it smogged, not that you told him he could joy ride around in the thing hoping that the emission control fault would magically clear.
    That's not legal even if you claimed he was an employee. So, I'm not seeing anything you could try at this point, try a lawyer.

    He's looking at an $1100 fine and a ding on his criminal record.

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