If your car is used to transport controlled substances, Minnesota law authorizes the forfeiture of the vehicle under certain circumstances. The controlled substance being transported must have a retail value of either $75.00 or $100.00, depending on the type of forfeiture proceeding, and the drugs must be associated with a felony level offense. The possession of any amount of cocaine, methampetamine or exstasy is a felony. Marijuana must weigh more than 42.5 grams to be a felony.
A forfeiture proceeding can be commenced as either an administrative or judicial forfeiture proceeding. In an administative proceeding, the police must serve you with a Notice of Intent to Forfeit Vehicle stating that you that you have 60 days to file a demand for a judicial forfeiture hearing. If you fail to file a demand for a hearing within 60 days, the forfeiture of your vehicle will become automatic. A judicial forfeiture proceeding requires the county attorney to file a civil forfeiture complaint within 60 days from the date of the vehicle seizure. If the county fails to do so, your car must be returned to you but the county can still file the forfeiture complaint at a later time.
If your vehicle has been seized by the police, you can regain possession during the forfeiture proceeding by surrendering the certificate of title or by posting a bond in the amount of the retail value of the car.
There are defenses in a vehicle forfeiture case. If you need an experienced vehicle forfeiture attorney, call Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at www.criminallawyerminnesota.com for more information.