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With Experience And Dedication


Gavel in Hand

By: Morey Law Firm

April 16, 2024

A Guide to Handling Rental Vehicle Arrests in Florida

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Handling Rental Car Wrongful Arrests in Florida

When you rent a car or truck, it’s usually for convenience during vacations, business trips, or when your vehicle is out of commission. However, what should be a simple transaction can sometimes turn into a legal nightmare. Rental vehicle arrests are not all that uncommon in Florida. With vacation destinations like Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and more can occur unsuspecting vacationers  can get thrown into complex legal situations. This blog post will delve into the causes of such rental arrests, their legal implications, and effective strategies for protecting your rights.

Causes of Florida Rental Vehicle Arrests

Swapped or Stolen License Plates: A frequent problem arises from the mishandling of license plates. Thieves sometimes target rental vehicles to use their plates on stolen vehicles. This means they swap the license plate of a stolen car with that of a rental. For the unsuspecting renter, this can lead to unexpected stops by law enforcement if the swapped plates are reported stolen. Many renters might not even consider checking if the plates on their rental vehicle are correct, leading to potential misunderstandings during police interactions.

Vehicle Mistakenly Reported Stolen: Administrative errors within the rental company can also lead to legal issues for renters. Errors such as failing to update the vehicle return dates or not accounting for extended rentals can result in a vehicle being mistakenly reported as stolen. This can lead to police stops and possible detainment of the renters based on this misinformation. To avoid such complications, it’s important for rental companies to keep accurate records and for renters to ensure that any changes in their rental period are duly noted in the rental agreement.

How to Protect Yourself from a Rental Arrest

  1. Verify Vehicle and Plates: Before leaving the rental lot, confirm that the vehicle’s license plates match the information provided in your rental agreement. Additionally, ensure the vehicle identification number (VIN) matches as well. This double-check guards against any discrepancies that might arise due to administrative errors or illegal activities like swapped plates.
  2. Keep Documentation Handy: Always carry your rental agreement, any communications with the rental company, and payment receipts during the rental period. This documentation is essential as it serves as proof of the terms you agreed to, including the duration of the rental and any insurance coverage or waivers you accepted.
  3. Know Who to Contact: Should you encounter any legal issues, such as being stopped by the police or facing an arrest, it’s critical to have quick access to the contact information for the rental company and a rental car arrest attorney. Having a lawyer who understands the specifics of rental law can be a significant advantage in resolving any disputes efficiently.
  4. Take Photos at Pickup and Return: When you pick up and return the rental vehicle, take comprehensive photos or a video of the vehicle’s condition. Focus on capturing any existing damage and the overall state of the car. These images can provide crucial evidence if there are any claims of damage or disputes regarding the vehicle’s condition when you return it.
  5. Review the Rental Policy: Before finalizing any rental, thoroughly review the rental policy, particularly sections detailing procedures for extending rental periods and the protocol for reporting any issues with the vehicle. Understanding these policies can help you avoid breaches of contract and inform you of your rights under the rental agreement.
  6. Use GPS or Dash Cams if Possible: Consider using GPS tracking or a dash cam during your rental period. These devices can provide definitive proof of your routes and actions in the event of accusations like unauthorized use or disputing the locations you visited.

Why Hire a Rental Car Arrest Lawyer

Hiring a rental car arrest attorney can be crucial if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being detained or facing legal issues while driving a rented vehicle. Here are some key reasons why enlisting the help of a specialized attorney is beneficial:

  1. No Fee Unless You Win: One of the most compelling reasons to hire a rental car arrest attorney is the contingency fee structure. This means that you won’t have to pay any attorney’s fees unless your case is successful. This arrangement allows you to pursue your case without the burden of upfront legal costs, ensuring that your rights are defended without additional financial stress.
  2. Holding Sloppy Rental Companies Accountable: Rental car companies must adhere to strict procedures in managing their fleets, including maintaining accurate rental records and ensuring that all vehicles are legally registered and properly maintained. When they fail to meet these responsibilities, it can lead to significant inconveniences and legal troubles for innocent renters. An experienced rental car arrest attorney knows how to challenge these companies, compelling them to uphold their obligations and preventing similar issues from happening to others.
  3. Recovering Compensation for Clients: If you’ve been wrongfully arrested due to an error by a rental car company or an oversight by law enforcement, you may be entitled to compensation. This can include reimbursement for bail expenses, legal fees, lost wages due to time spent dealing with the arrest, and even emotional distress. A skilled attorney will aggressively pursue all available avenues of compensation to ensure you are made whole after such an event.

Morey Law Firm, P.A.: Florida Rental Car Arrest Attorneys

Navigating rental vehicle use in Florida can be straightforward with the right precautions. By carefully checking your rental vehicle, maintaining clear records, and fully understanding your rental agreement, you can minimize the risk of legal complications. If legal issues do arise, a Florida rental car arrest lawyer can provide essential support. These professionals specialize in rental vehicle law and can offer valuable guidance and advocacy to help resolve your situation effectively. With their assistance, you can navigate these challenges more confidently and ensure fair treatment under the law.

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