Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by amberwolf » Jun 06 2019 5:30pm

MesquiteTim wrote:
Jun 06 2019 4:48pm
And finally, change the title of this thread. Your case is not about illegal confiscation!
FWIW, the title is ambiguous, in that it could be referring to confiscation of illegal bikes, or illegal confiscation of bikes.

A hyphen between the first two words would clarify it to the former, whereas a hyphen between the second and third would clarify it to the latter.


As far as "legal" or "illegal" goes, if something being done harms no one, in any way, I'm not sure there's a reason to worry about it.

If harm was being caused by hooliganism, etc., that would be another story.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by wturber » Jun 06 2019 5:44pm

amberwolf wrote:
Jun 06 2019 5:30pm

As far as "legal" or "illegal" goes, if something being done harms no one, in any way, I'm not sure there's a reason to worry about it.
Right. And that's why most of the cops are leaving the OP alone. Live and let live and all that. The OP only has a police/legal problem because some guy has it out for him and what he's doing happens to be illegal - even if it is harmless. It does make you wonder why this guy has it out for the OP.

Were it me, I'd probably see if I could do something like fechter suggested and make the bike technically legal. But I get that doing would be a hassle an possibly not practical.
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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by Talon » Jun 06 2019 9:47pm

MesquiteTim wrote:
Jun 06 2019 4:48pm
Sorry, but you should not threaten violence against someone when you are clearly breaking the law. Sell your ILLEGAL "vehicle" and buy a LEGAL electric bike. I'm 60 too and I don't get the anger and stubborn attitude of some people. I'll take a guess that you rarely admit when you are wrong.

Your repeated claim that you got away with it for two years somehow makes it Ok is silly. What if I ran the same stop sign in my quiet neighborhood every day for two years and finally the cops stopped me because a concerned neighbor called them?

And finally, change the title of this thread. Your case is not about illegal confiscation!
OK..... here is part 2 to the story on why I believe my Urb-E is legal in Michigan despite what the law reads. I took delivery on February 1st 2017. It was winter so I drove it mostly inside at my work place. After reading and learning about electric bikes from this excellent forum, I decided to modify the Urb-E for more speed and torque. 15 MPH gets boring real fast. Over the late summer and early fall of 2017 I bought a Powervelocity controller, bigger hub-motor, and a 48 volt Luna battery. After finishing the custom bolt on upgrades, I took it on it's first ride at night while intoxicated on September 17th 2017. Having horrible luck with the cops in the past, I got pulled over by the same police department mentioned 1/2 mile from my home and received a DUI on the Urb-E :oops: I was put in jail. It was my 3rd in 15 years. While in jail a policeman brought me a paper to sign that I agreed to forfeit my Urb-E because it is the law for 3 DUI's in a lifetime in Michigan. To make a long story shorter, on January 22th or about then I was sentenced by the judge. I was given a light sentence as I was not driving an automobile I believe. The very next day after my plea deal, the local police department that arrested me called me on the phone and told me that I have a scooter in their possession and asked me when I want to pick it up? Remember that I signed a paper forfeiting the Urb-E back on September the 17th at the time of my arrest. I told the policeman on the phone that I would be there in 15 minutes. Once I got to the police station with my brother, I had to show my ID and he brought it out of the property room and gave it back to me. The police department had possession of the Urb-E for 4 whole months and gave it back to me. If the Urb-E was "illegal" in anyway, why would the same police department give it back to me :roll: I have been driving it almost everyday since with NO problems from the very same police department except my 1st post of this thread :?: The judge called the Urb-E a "scooter" when she sentenced me just so you know. The laws in Michigan have changed on January 28th of 2018 to be lighter for ebikes, and scooters. That is why I always believed that my Urb-E was legal in Michigan, and my city :D I also have been completely sober for 1 1/2 years now :D

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by amberwolf » Jun 06 2019 10:07pm

Talon wrote:
Jun 06 2019 9:47pm
The police department had possession of the Urb-E for 4 whole months and gave it back to me. If the Urb-E was "illegal" in anyway, why would the same police department give it back to me :roll: I
Whoever gave it back probably didn't know about the document you'd signed, and no one had tagged the item itself with any notice. Most probably this sort of thing happens with some regularity; it's a bureaucracy thing, different departments that don't talk to each other, everwhere in the world. ;)

However, it isn't illegal to own an Urb-E, according to what has been posted so far about the laws there. Just that it isn't a class 2 ebike (or any other form of bicycle, AFAICT) per those laws.

So, aside from any documents signed that forfeit ownership of it, there's nothing in what's been said so far that gives them any reason not to give it back.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by wturber » Jun 06 2019 11:27pm

That's not horrible luck. Three DUI's is a pattern of behavior and suggest the likelihood that you have driven/ridden drunk far more than just three times.

In Michigan, vehicle forfeiture is discretionary not mandatory after three convictions. The judge decides, not the police.

You don't give us the details of the plea deal. If it was a DUI that you were convicted of, that makes the Urb-E a motorized vehicle, not a bicycle. If you plead to something like public intoxication, then the court would have no authority to confiscate the Urb-E.

Add to all this that the e-bike laws changed after your "DUI." So any laws applied at the time of your "DUI" may very well not apply now. Certainly the definition of what an e-bike is changed.

You are free to believe whatever you like regarding whether your Urb-E is an e-bike or not. You may even be able to convince some police officers. But not of that changes the actual reality of the law. But it seems clear that most cops really don't care. So if you stay sober and avoid this one guy, your might have no problems. Ya rolls yer dice and ya takes yer chances.
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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by markz » Jun 06 2019 11:28pm

It's also illegal to speed, tail gate, not use blinkers, spit in public, throw cig butts out a window, pass a pedestrian when in a cross walk, jay walk, drive past a school bus with its reds on, smoke within 10' of a doorway, smoke on train plateform./in bus shelter, drive with bald tires, drive with studded tires......................... on and on and on and on and on and on ...........................................................

To tell you the truth, some of those "minor" illegalities are very very dangerous, yet I have even seen the Fuzz break their own laws, like ped in X-walk, no stop at cont int, etc etc etc

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by dogman dan » Jun 07 2019 6:02am

Well, I did not say your Urbe was illegal.

I said its not an "ebike". The judge, and the cop at the property room considered it a scooter. It most likely needed to be an object with a licence plate to be forfeited on that paper, they stupidly and illegally had you sign.


Ok, great, they gave you your scooter back. But where is the paper they gave you that said you could ride it on the street? Most likely, if you really lawyered on it, you'd find your scooter is legal on private property, with owner of properties consent.

The cool thing is, most of the time you can ride it on the street cuz nobody gives a shit. Just don't spend much time anywhere, after some jackass calls the cops. Grab your purchase and split. Still want to know what you did to that guy that called. No interaction at all? I kind of doubt it.


Lastly, you could try riding a thing that looks legal, if you get sick of this shit.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by RunForTheHills » Jun 07 2019 10:33am

wturber wrote:
Jun 06 2019 11:27pm
You don't give us the details of the plea deal. If it was a DUI that you were convicted of, that makes the Urb-E a motorized vehicle, not a bicycle. If you plead to something like public intoxication, then the court would have no authority to confiscate the Urb-E.
In California, you can get a DUI on a non-motorized bicycle.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by billvon » Jun 07 2019 1:53pm

Talon wrote:
Jun 06 2019 9:47pm
While in jail a policeman brought me a paper to sign that I agreed to forfeit my Urb-E because it is the law for 3 DUI's in a lifetime in Michigan. To make a long story shorter, on January 22th or about then I was sentenced by the judge. I was given a light sentence as I was not driving an automobile I believe. The very next day after my plea deal, the local police department that arrested me called me on the phone and told me that I have a scooter in their possession and asked me when I want to pick it up? Remember that I signed a paper forfeiting the Urb-E back on September the 17th at the time of my arrest. I told the policeman on the phone that I would be there in 15 minutes. Once I got to the police station with my brother, I had to show my ID and he brought it out of the property room and gave it back to me. The police department had possession of the Urb-E for 4 whole months and gave it back to me. If the Urb-E was "illegal" in anyway, why would the same police department give it back to me . . .
Sure. If you get your car confiscated because it doesn't comply with the law (no brakes or horn or something) you can generally get it back from the cops - you just can't drive it on public roads until you get it fixed/registered whatever. Sounds like that may have been the case here.

With that many DUI's, you lucked out.
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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by Electric Earth » Jun 07 2019 3:56pm

Hmm... Well things have changed here. So the thing you're riding isn't legally an ebike, and the police might be familiar with you because you live in a quiet little town and have fairly recently gone through a legal situation of three DUIs. The last of those was on the vehicle in question. That makes this situation a lot tougher to deal with. I, too, support the idea of simply getting a vehicle that complies with the law. Without the DUI situation I'd say sure, go ahead and keep arguing your point. But you didn't put yourself into a good place when you decided to hot-rod the scooter and go out for a drunken joy ride... And I think it's kind of nice of the cops, If they know of these actions, to let you ride it around this long without hassling you. I'm glad you've come to your senses and stopped driving drunk, though. :thumb:

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by Talon » Jun 07 2019 4:24pm

I also forgot to mention that the judge that sentenced me and called it a "scooter" in court was a Circuit Court Judge. Who knows better than her about the laws in Michigan? On top of all the confusion, my sentence paper gave me 60 days to either sell or donate my car...... WTF? I was not even driving my car 😫 How much sense does that make? Also my auto insurance rate doubled and I received 6 points on my driving record. I was driving a "scooter" according to the Circuit Court judge. What kind of circus is this? 👿
🤡

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by wturber » Jun 07 2019 4:59pm

Talon wrote:
Jun 07 2019 4:24pm
I was driving a "scooter" according to the Circuit Court judge. What kind of circus is this? 👿
🤡
I dunno. The kind you created?

I'm pretty sure that your "scooter" is a moped. So calling it a "scooter" doesn't seem that odd to me. Some "scooters" are mopeds under Michigan law. But the judge certainly didn't call it an ebike. Pretty much nothing supports that assertion. Pretty much everything supports the idea that your Urb-e is some kind of motorized vehicle .. hence the DUI (OWI actually), insurance increase, etc.
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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by RunForTheHills » Jun 07 2019 9:45pm

If it were me, I would sell the Urb-E and buy or build a legal or legal appearing ebike. Selling the Urb-E and building a new bike from a kit would probably be less than $1000 net. I don't know your financial situation, but it might be worth it for the peace of mind. Alternatively, if you have enough money, you could build a legal ebike in addition to the Urb-E.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by dogman dan » Jun 08 2019 6:40am

No doubt about it, it sucks if the cops know you. I learned when I was 16 to drive perfect. I got pulled over for everything they could think of. Later, they sent an undercover agent to my school, just to get me personally first. Then she went after other guys dealing dope.

Hey, I deserved to spend high school on probation, but it ended up sucking for years after that. A whole generation of small town cops was out to get me for a decade. I damn sure gave up selling dope. Being notorious was not good.


You may be in a similar situation, and you need to get legal, like I had to. I was checking my brake lights constantly for years, to avoid reasons to pull me over. My brother got into similar DUI situation, his last bust was simply his face in a car. They knew him too well, and his last sentence.


And, you can get a DUI on a horse, on a skateboard, etc. As you now know. The judge did tell you that you can't own a car, or anything else with a license plate for awhile, as my brother could not. But he did not tell you your illegal vehicle is fine on the streets.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by wturber » Jun 08 2019 10:03am

dogman dan wrote:
Jun 08 2019 6:40am

And, you can get a DUI on a horse, on a skateboard, etc. As you now know.
That doesn't appear to be the case in Michigan. Having a motor seems to be a key criteria. I haven't studied their law extensively or anything, but that's what I gleaned from reading a few Michigan DUI ... er OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in that state ... lawyer pages.

https://baronedefensefirm.com/videos/mi ... d-vehicle/

also

https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/fi ... _chart.pdf
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by John in CR » Jun 08 2019 10:34am

You guys should move to a civilized country. Here the law is simple, so simple that the police actually know it, and they actually focus their efforts where they are more needed. Because it is a mountainous country, significant power ratings of motors are required for truly useful electric transportation. 5.000 watts is the cutoff, above which are 2 classes of motorcycle and below is a "moto-bici" that requires neither plates nor license. While the law was written that 2 wheels and an electric motor with output power of less than 5kw are the only requirements, no pedals or other silliness in the law. I've talked to officers who universally agree that 3 wheels is okay too. Their only suggestion is to carry documentation about the motor power with factory ratings and common test reports being fine.

11 years of riding electrics and 0 hassles, and it's been years since the last negative comment from a cyclist.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by Chalo » Jun 08 2019 10:55am

John in CR wrote:
Jun 08 2019 10:34am
You guys should move to a civilized country.
Pluses:
Nice climate
Volcanoes

Minuses:
Murder
Famously anarchic driving
Chagas disease
Volcanoes

Fun fact:
It's the original banana republic!
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: Illegal bike confiscation possibilities by police not up to date on newer laws

Post by fechter » Jun 08 2019 11:05am

Topic locked at OP's request.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

Locked