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Is it legal to seize my car after the police check on me for napping in a legal parking spot sobriety tested me I passed they then said they saw a pipe with is untrue

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I am assuming that legal parking means you parked where it is legal and completely turned of your car. Engine is not running, keys are not in the ignition. Just as if you had exited and left it.

Napping in your car is not illegal.

In fact, it is even your duty if you find that you cannot drive safely anymore. So for example if you drive home from a night shift and you find yourself so tired that driving becomes unsafe, you are required by law to find the nearest place to safely park your vehicle and stop driving. Whether taking a walk in fresh, cold air, or taking a nap is the best way to recover so you can safely continue driving is nobody's business.

Generally, the police are allowed to ask you to step out of your car. Check your driver's license, check the car's papers, check your car for road safety, have you show them the required equipment from your car (first aid kit, etc.) and do a visual check if you have consumed drugs.

Only if they have reason to believe you committed a crime may they check your identity via personal ID or passport, search the interior of your car, check your body, or do a drug test.

If you are still not able to drive your car and for some reason your car needs to be moved, the police may have your car towed. This is highly unlikely if you parked legally, but there are zones where parking is only allowed during specific hours and if you did commit a crime and need to be taken into custody, you may end up parking your car outside of those hours and may get towed anyway, police or not. But it wasn't seized; you can go to the lot, pay the towing fee and get your car back.

The police may only seize you car, if you committed a crime using it and it is likely you will do so again. So for example if you are found driving without a license for the third time this week, the police may seize your car to prevent further harm.

So in your case, the police may ask you to step out of your car and explain why you are napping. "I felt like it" is a perfectly legal answer however.

If one of them claims they "saw a pipe" they are allowed to search your car without an official warrant by a judge. In retrospect, you could probably sue them if that search did not even turn up the "pipe".

But even if they found illegal drugs, they are not allowed to seize your car, unless you had a prior record of using your car to smuggle drugs.

So what you described was most likely not , because that would be illegal here.


Please note that if you had done that today, in the freezing cold, the police might not allow you to nap in your car, because that is dangerous to your own health. But that has nothing to do with it being illegal, but rather with the temperatures and their duty not to let you die if they see you are in danger.

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  • It could be a USA thing. Cops break the law all the time and fabricate evidence to send innocent people to jail to meet their quotas. Jan 17 at 20:16

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