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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.