Vehicle Forfeiture

Vehicle Forfeiture And DWI In Minnesota


When Is A Vehicle Subject to Forfeiture in Minnesota?

In many DWI cases the police or sheriffs department has the authority to seize and forfeit (keep and then sell) your motor vehicle. Vehicle forfeiture is covered by Minnesota Statute 169A.63. It is important to know that the offenses include both DWI offenses and alcohol-related drivers license revocations arising from separate incidents. The motor vehicle used in a DWI

picture of car being seized


offense may be seized and forfeited by the Police under the following circumstances:

1) The current offense is the 3rd offense within 10 years and the driver is now charged with DWI or test refusal. (Second Degree DWI).

2) The current offense is the 2nd offense within 10 years and the driver is now charged with DWI with a child under the age of 16 present, or driving with an alcohol level of 0.16% or more. (Second Degree DWI).

3) The current offense is the fourth offense within 10 years and the driver is now charged with felony DWI. (First Degree DWI).

4) The driver is charged with a DWI or test refusal while the drivers license is under cancellation for being inimical to public safety.

5) The driver is charged with a DWI or test refusal while the driver’s license is subject to a restriction prohibiting consumption of any amount of alcohol or controlled substance (B-Card restriction).

The police can seize the vehicle immediately and keep possession of it while the criminal and forfeiture cases are pending. The arresting agency must issue a Notice of Seizure and Intent to Forfeit the vehicle to the driver of the vehicle and to anyone else who may have an ownership or possessor’s interest in the vehicle and it MUST be done within 60 days of the forfeiture.

There are some defenses, such as a motor vehicle is subject to forfeiture under this law only if its owner knew or should have known of the unlawful use of the vehicle. If the driver is the owner, or one of joint owners then this not a defense, but if the vehicle is owned by someone who was not present when the DWI occurred and who had no knowledge that the driver would use it to violate this law, then the owner has a legal defense against the forfeiture action.

Within 60 Days After Seizure The Vehicles Owner Must File A Demand For A Judicial Determination Of The Forfeiture.

This demand for a hearing to determine the legality of the forfeiture must be made within 60 days to be effective or else the owner of the vehicle will lose the vehicle no matter what the outcome of the criminal case.

Rosengren Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office
150 St. Andrews Court, Suite 110 56001

Using this site does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Viewing this website or sending an email message through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is created by a written agreement between you and our attorneys in which the attorney agrees to provide you with legal representation and you agree to pay his fee. Information sent by email may not be treated as confidential. Nothing on this website is intended to give you specific advice, everything on this site is presented by Jason Kohlmeyer of Rosengren Kohlmeyer Lawas a courtesy to the public and your case will have unique facts that this website does not and cannot factor in. An attorney should be contacted by telephone or in person as soon as possible. Revised: January 7, 2015 *not indicative of all cases, each case has it's own set off facts and own nuances, your case may end up with a better or worse result than the listed cases. All cases on file. Rosengren Kohlmeyer & Hagen practices criminal defense with a very special emphasis on DWI DUI in in Mankato, St. James, Fairmont, Waseca, Olivia, St. Clair, St. Peter, Gaylord, Blue Earth, Owatonna, Albert Lea, Shakopee