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Name: Smith v. Santa Rosa Police Dept
Case #: A095040
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/09/2002
Subsequent History: None

Vehicle Code section 14602.6 provides for the seizure and impound for 30 days of a vehicle driven by a driver who is unlicensed or has had his driving privileges suspended. Section 14602.6 subdivision (b) provides for early release of the vehicle where there are mitigating circumstances. Here, Smith did not know that his grandson, to whom he loaned his vehicle, had a suspended license. Smith obtained an order releasing his truck, and the City appealed. Here, the appellate court affirmed. The trial court properly determined that mitigating circumstances were demonstrated where the owner did not know that the driver did not have a valid license. Further, the owner is neither required to ask the driver whether he has a valid license nor ask to see the license in order to recover the vehicle before the expiration of the storage period.