Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Minnesota DWIs and Forfeiture (Explained)
Under certain Minnesota laws, specifically those concerning Drunk Driving and DWIs, the vehicle being driven by certain offenders may be subject to forfeiture and sale. Typically this occurs when someone has been arrested for his or her third DWI within a ten-year period. This same result can also occur on a person's 1st or 2nd such arrest - if certain factors are present.
This is a quite complicated area of DWI law and as such you should consult with an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to ensure that your rights (and vehicle) are protected.
Generally speaking, vehicles operated by a drunk driver are subject to forfeiture in Minnesota if:
(i.) The vehicle was used in the commission of a designated offense and the driver was convicted of that offense or failed to appear at trial; or
(ii.) The driver had an alcohol concentration of .20 or more; or
(iii.) The vehicle was used in conduct resulting in license revocation and the driver either fails to seek administrative or judicial review of the revocation in a timely manner or the revocation is sustained upon review.
The forfeiture only applies to the vehicle being driven - a second, third, fourth, etc. car or truck owned by the same individual, but not driven while intoxicated, are not subject to forfeiture. Additionally, certain vehicle owners are protected if they unknowingly allow a drunk driver to use their vehicle.
What Happens to the Vehicle?
After the forfeiture process is compete, law enforcement may keep the vehicle for its own, official use. They might also seek to sell it at acution.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Minnesota and your vehicle may be subject to forfeiture, contact the Rolloff Law Office for information about your legal rights and recovery of your property. Call today - (612) 234-1165 for a free, no obligation, consultation.