Little guy: Unless your car directly facilitates your involvement in an illegal activity, such as drug sales, or you are driving "under the influence", the authorities, constitutionally, do not have the right to confiscate your vehicle, without just compensation. The "takings clause" of the 5th Amendment insures American citizens their right to their property. I have always been curious as to how such property is impounded under any circumstances, since the Constitution itself does not separate criminal from legal behavior. It simply requires that "private property" cannot be "taken for public use, without just compensation." Nonetheless, cars are always impounded, with little or no attention paid to our Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment protections.