Vehicle Forfeiture

Anoka DWI Lawyer & Attorney

If you have been accused of a crime that involves use of your vehicle, then your vehicle could be forfeited. In other words, you could lose the right to your automobile as a part of the punishment for the crime. DWI/DUI is one of the most common reasons why a vehicle is forfeited. This is because DWI is considered a crime and the vehicle is considered a part of that crime.

If you have been accused of DWI and you need to defend yourself against the DWI charges and vehicle forfeiture, having an experienced Anoka criminal defense lawyer advocating for you every step of the way will help you obtain the best possible result in your case so you can put the matter behind you as soon as possible.

Fighting Vehicle Forfeiture On Your Behalf

The sheriff’s department has the right to seize the vehicle. They then keep it and sell it if you are not able to recover it. The vehicle may be seized or forfeited if any of the following occur:

  • The alleged offense is the third within the past ten years and the driver is charged with DWI again or refused field sobriety tests
  • The alleged offense is the second to occur within the past ten years and the driver is charged when there is a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle or the blood alcohol concentration is .20 or above.
  • The alleged offense is the fourth within the past ten years and the driver is currently charged with a felony.
  • The driver refuses to take urine or blood tests while their license is under a restriction that states they are to not consume any alcohol, otherwise known as a B-card restriction.

After the police of taken possession of the vehicle, the Notice of Seizure is issued to the owner, as well as an Intent to Forfeit. These notices have to be issued within 30 days of the forfeiture. After 30 days, the law enforcement agency is able to sell the vehicle for cash, which means the owner will not be able to recover the vehicle.

Helping You Recover Your Vehicle

There are a number of defenses that can be used against vehicle forfeiture. For instance, a vehicle is only subject to forfeiture if the owner had reason to know or knew that the vehicle was being used in an unlawful act. This defense can be used if the owner was not the driver or passenger. The owner can’t be present at the time of the DWI for the Minnesota criminal defense lawyer to use this defense. Nonetheless, it is possible to challenge forfeiture within the 30 days so the owner can retain possession of the vehicle.