Minnesota law has strict policies in place to prevent repeat drunk driving offenses. A drunk driving conviction can lead to serious penalties, including fines, jail time, and even the loss of your driver’s license or vehicle. If you are facing the possibility of vehicle forfeiture in Minnesota, you need an experienced attorney to help you keep your vehicle.
Understanding Vehicle Forfeiture
According to Minnesota’s DWI laws, there are certain cases where law enforcement has the authority to seize and forfeit the vehicle involved in the offense. Some of the most common circumstances for vehicle forfeiture include:
- Three DWI offenses within the past 10 years;
- Refusing a DWI test when you already have multiple DWI convictions;
- When a second DWI offense involves a minor child or a BAC of .20 or more;
- Any form of DWI or test refusal that occurs when the drivers license was suspended; or
- Any form of DWI or test refusal that occurs while the driver is using a B-Card.
When law enforcement determines a vehicle is subject to forfeiture, they can immediately seize the vehicle and retain possession during any pending or ongoing legal proceedings. The arresting agency will send a Notice and Seizure and Intent to Forfeit to the owner of the vehicle prior to taking possession. Depending on the result of the legal proceedings, law enforcement may keep or even sell the vehicle.
In order for law enforcement to seize a vehicle, there must be evidence that the owner was aware of the unlawful use of the vehicle. If the drunk driver is the owner or joint-owner of the vehicle, this is usually enough to justify legal forfeiture. However, when the drunk driver is not the owner of vehicle, there may be a good case for overturning the forfeiture.
Vehicle Forfeiture Defense Lawyer
The threat of vehicle forfeiture in Minnesota is not something you have to face alone. With a qualified defense lawyer, you may be able to keep your vehicle and get back behind the wheel quickly. Your lawyer will put together the case that may result in reduced DWI penalties. Without a lawyer on your side, you will often be up against the harshest penalties possible, including the loss of your driving privileges and vehicle.
Vehicle forfeiture is not finalized the moment it occurs. There are often legal arguments that can help you get your vehicle back. After a vehicle is seized, you typically have 30 days to file an appeal. Consulting with a lawyer is often the best way to make sure this appeal will be filed correctly and heard by the courts.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
When you are threatened with vehicle forfeiture, you need the best attorneys on your side. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we have helped many clients avoid DWI penalties. Our attorneys work hard to make sure the outcome of your case is as favorable as possible. Don’t let vehicle forfeiture affect your daily life. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our online form for a free consultation.