The impoundment or immobilization of a vehicle is a component of the penalties ordered for offenses dealt with in s. 316.193 of the Florida State Statutes, namely crimes of driving under the influence (DUI). As our experienced defense lawyers know, the phrase “mandatory minimums” is often associated with jail time; the fact is, however, that there can be mandatory minimum penalties for a variety of forms of punishment, including and especially the punishment that comes in the form of impoundment or immobilization of a defendant’s vehicle.

Impoundment Process

According to s. 316.193(6)(a), when an individual is convicted of their first DUI offense, in addition to issuing other punishments, the court must order the impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle that was operated by or in the actual control of the defendant or any one vehicle registered in the defendants name at the time of impoundment or immobilization for a period of 10 days (or for the rest of the term of any rental/lease agreement sent to expire within 10 days. Additionally, the impoundment or immobilization must not occur concurrently with the incarceration of the defendant. In other words, if you spend one day in jail after a DUI, you cannot count that day of not driving toward the mandatory 10 days for which the car must be impounded or immobilized.

For a second conviction of DUI occurring within 5 years after the date of the prior DUI conviction, in addition to any other punishment, according to s. 316.193(6)(b), the court must also order the impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles owned by the defendant at the time of the impoundment or immobilization for a period of 30 days (or for the unexpired term of a rental/lease agreement set to expire within 30 days). Additionally, the impoundment/immobilization cannot occur concurrently with incarceration, though it must occur concurrently with the driver’s license revocation.

According to s. 316.193(6)(c), if an individual is convicted of a third or subsequent DUI offense within a period of 10 years after the date of a prior DUI conviction, the court must order the impoundment/immobilization of all vehicles owned by the defendant for 90 days according to the above-stated terms (though, in this case, the vehicle may be impounded/immobilized for the unexpired term of a rental/lease agreement set to expire within 90 days).

Recovering Your Vehicle

The impoundment/immobilization of the vehicle can be overruled for a variety of reasons, however. As is outlined in s. 316.193(6)(e,f,g,h), some of the reasons for which a vehicle may not be impounded include issues such as the fact that the vehicle driven by the defendant was stolen, the fact that the family of the defendant has no other modes of transportation without access to the vehicle in question, and the fact that the vehicle is owned by a business of the defendant and is operated solely by the defendant’s employees or business operators.

If you have been arrested for or charged with a DUI in Broward County, contact the DUI defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert immediately. We are a partnership of former prosecutors, uniquely skilled at defending our clients and successfully lobbying on their behalf. Only an experienced, knowledgeable local lawyers will be able to get you everything that you deserve during this process.