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DWIs and Vehicle Seizure and Forfeiture

What are the penalties for a DWI if it’s not my first?


I was arrested for a DWI. Can the Police seize my vehicle? The answer is Yes.

With regard to Minnesota DWIs, the police can and often do seize and forfeiture vehicles where the driver has been arrested for a DWI. The most common scenario is where the driver has his fourth or third DWI in ten years. This DWI is referred to as a Felony First Degree DWI or a Second Degree DWI. However, the police can seize the vehicle (forfeiture) if the driver tested .16 or more, refused to submit to testing, the driver’s license has already been canceled due to being inimical to public safety, had a B-card restriction violation, or had a child in the car and has a prior DWI in the past 10 years.

Our experienced DWI attorney patiently reviews your case details with you.

I was arrested for Criminal Vehicular Operation. Can the police seize my vehicle or the money my insurance company was going to pay me? The answer is yes. Just like with DWIs, the police can seize the vehicle and prosecutors will try to keep the money your insurance company was going to pay you because your car was totaled. Call Martin Azarian, an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney today for your free telephone consultation. He has the experience and knowledge to help you and possibly stop the police and prosecutors from keeping your car or your money.

What happens if the driver doesn’t own the vehicle, can the police seize the vehicle?

The answer is yes, however; this type of seizure and forfeiture presents problems for the police. Did the owner live with driver of the car? Did the owner know the driver had prior DWIs? Did the owner let the driver take the car knowing drive was going to commit a DWI offense? With his experience he can provide you with the help and advice you need! There may be an effective defense that your Minnesota DWI attorney, Martin Azarian can use in the case; showing that the owner did not have reason to know that the vehicle was being used to commit a crime and was not aware of the driver’s past DWI record. This is a defense that is used when the owner was not the driver, the passenger, the spouse.

No matter the case, Martin Azarian can file the necessary paperwork to challenge the forfeiture, but you only have 60 days of the date the vehicle was forfeited or the vehicle will be gone, despite the criminal case outcome.

What happens if there is a lien on the car?

The police will still seize the vehicle and may return the vehicle to the lender unless the owner sues to get the car back. The owner will still have to make payments to the bank on a car he or she does not own.

Can I buy back my car?

The police and prosecutors do, in some cases, allow what is called a buy back.

The car has been seized and the police want to forfeit it. What can I do?

Remember, you only have sixty days to sue to get the car back. If you wait too long, the car is gone. Period. Martin Azarian has the experience and legal knowledge to help you with a seizure and forfeiture. With the help of an experienced Minneapolis DWI lawyer, the vehicle can be retrieved if the right circumstances exist. Get in touch today with Martin by calling our office at (612) 343-9000 or call 24 hours a day at (952) 451-4987 for a free initial telephone consultation

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