May 29, 2012, 9:53 AM
Post #2 of 20
This sounds like a case of theory vs practice.
Re: [rockydog85251] Driving Mexican plated car in Mexico
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In practice, the police can detain/retain a vehicle that they believe may have been part of the commission of a crime. They can tow the vehicle to their impound yard and hold it, charging daily storage fees, until the matter is resolved. Sometimes, here in Yucatan, we have vehicles impounded in this manner after minor traffic accidents, holding the vehicles until the police are convinced that financial and legal issues have been resolved.
So, in theory, the police may not be able to easily permanently confiscate a vehicle, but they can tow, impound, and store them until the police and abogados work things out. The three people I know who have faced this found that our police will often try to pressure the parties to settle something on-site by threatening to detain (temporarily hold in jail) everyone (including passengers) and impound the vehicles, to force people to settle financial and matters of fault on the spot.
e.g. Last year, one friend ran a stop sign and got T-boned by a car that had the right of way. Initially, the driver and passengers of the "innocent" car refused offers by the guilty friend's insurance representative to fix the car, to take them to a nice private hospital, and pay all bills. The innocents pushed for having the friend arrested. The police patiently worked with the innocents, pointing out that the innocents' car had a broken tail-light and other safety infractions - and the police told (pressured) the innocents that they would all (passengers included) be taken to jail if they did not accept the "fine offer of the insurance agent".
This is why we strongly advise having auto insurance and keeping a working cell phone with you while driving (with the insurance company's number on speed dial), and to not move vehicles after an accident, and to rely on your insurance rep to represent you, whether you are at fault or are innocent - especially if you do not understand Spanish well.
Glad your friends "escaped" with themselves, the vehicle, and their wallet intact.
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com
(This post was edited by YucaLandia on May 29, 2012, 1:19 PM)