OCU holding car that I am still paying for, how long can they hold it?

Son stopped in my car and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell. OCU took car and I am still paying notes on it, How long can they hold it?

Asked on June 4, 2009 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is very bad news, if I understand the situation:  your son was stopped, and when your car, which he was driving, was searched, the police found enough marijuana to charge him as a dealer.  I think you can expect the state to file a lawsuit to forfeit the car.

It may be that they simply aren't finished searching it;  it might also be that they are planning to use the car itself as evidence, for you son's trial if it goes to that.  Either way, they can hold the car for those sorts of purposes at least until the case is resolved.

But in most states, a car that is used in a drug selling operation is subject to forfeiture, which means the state takes the car, and becomes the owner.  You'd still be liable on the note.  You need to talk to a lawyer about this, who can give you accurate advice based on all of the facts of your case.  One place to look for an attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

as for a specific time I honestly cannot provide that. I assume you have an attorney for your son and they should be able to get you as close of an answer as possible to the time frame. If the investigation is still open they can continue to hold the car. I also would advise consulting with an attorney because in some states a car can be held and even kept depending on the charge being placed in situations like this

Do not get concerned yet because I am not licensed in TN so am not aware of whether this applies and assume if it did you would have already been notified. So make sure you have a lawyer representing your son and they will fight for the car back as well. Unfortunately I cannot give you the answer you were looking for which is a time limit as there really is not one

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.