I was driving my father’s car and was arrested for poss. of cocaine with the int. My question is can they seize his car for good?

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Pursuant to state asset forfeiture laws, it is possible that your father's car could be seized if the state initiates asset forfeiture proceedings.  This is usually a civil proceeding, whereby the state sues for ownership of property that is allegedly derived from illegal activities.  This proceeding is usually separate from the criminal proceeding, in which you will be the defendant. 

However, in there is something in asset forfeiture law called the innocent owner defense, whereby if the true owner of a piece of property (in this instance, your father and his car) has no idea, and no way to know, that the property is being used by a third person for some illegal activity, then the state's asset forfeiture proceeding may fail.  Nevertheless, this is a tricky area of law, the nuances of which vary from state to state.  Therefore, I suggest that your father hire an attorney to represent him in the asset forfeiture proceeding.


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