Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Criminal Illegal Towing Takes On New Meaning in Texas

It's official, wrecker drivers and property managers are now subject to immediate arrest for taking your vehicle without permission from private or public parking facilities not in compliance with the Texas Towing Law, Occupation Code 2308.

This criminal penalty enhancement (Class B Misdemeanor) is much welcomed by law enforcement agencies across the state, in hopes that crooked wrecker drivers will think twice before towing a vehicle without probable cause, although, I believe many who currently tow illegally, will continue until sentenced.

Another much anticipated change in the towing law, increasing the amount of financial liability the Court will be awarding, for the statutory violations, no less than a $1000.00, the parking facility will be liable to vehicle owners. Just remember, if you pay $200 to retrieve your vehicle and file a Justice Court suit for the statutory violation against the parking facility, you will receive no less than $1000.00 per violation, in addition to three times the $200.00 plus your attorney fees.

On another note of importance, the tow hearing to determine if probable cause existed to have your vehicle towed, will be held in the jurisdiction of the parking facility, not the vehicle storage facility.

In addition, the vehicle storage facility is required to provide the name of the person, who authorized the towing of your vehicle, with their address, city, state, zip and phone number. Should a vehicle storage facility employee refuse to provide this information, vehicle owners are encouraged to call the Police.

I am really excited about these changes in the towing law, because some towing companies have and are continuing to financially abuse consumers, being vehicle owners or operators. With these new tools, now justice can be served, only if you have a Judge who does not base his/her decision on campaign donations, which has happened many times in the past.

Consumers can be assured that online complaints filed with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation will render sanctions if warranted, because wrecker drivers are trained and certified, therefore knowing their actions are scrutinized.

Always call your local police department if towed from private parking lots if you think you were illegally towed after reviewing Texas Towing Compliance's website.

College students returning to Austin need to remember, when catching the wrecker driver hooking up your vehicle in a parking lot, they must release it for free, if not fully prepared on for transport, to learn more, watch this video.