Can my car be forfeited if I am arrested?

UPDATED: May 15, 2009

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my car be forfeited if I am arrested?

I am a convicted felon on probation. I am following all terms of my probation. I just paid off my car. What if I get ever get arrested again in the fuure? Can they keep my car? Should it be in someone else’s name too? Maybe a parent and mine?

Asked on May 15, 2009 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Criminal forfeiture is the taking of your property by the state, due to its relationship to criminal activity.  Forfeiture laws vary from state to state, and can be broader or narrower depending upon the crime committed and the laws of your jurisdiction.  However, typically, criminal forfeiture may be sought when the property is used in the commission of a criminal offense, or was obtained through criminal activity.

Criminal forfeiture occurs when, after the owner is convicted of a crime, and where forfeiture is allowed under the laws of the prosecuting jurisdiction, it is demonstrated that the property has a sufficient relationship to the criminal activity to justify depriving the owner of his property rights. For example, your state may have a law that gives the judge the right to forfeit your car, if you are convicted of drunk driving or of soliciting a prostitute. The prosecutor's office may be able to seek forfeiture of your property -- even your business or home -- if you are convicted of certain offenses, such as drug trafficking or racketeering.

If you are facing a charge involving possible criminal forfeiture, you can include the issue of forfeiture (both criminal and civil) in any plea negotiations that may occur with the prosecutor.

You could put the car in someone else's name but if it's used in the commission of a crime it won't matter it will get confiscated anyway.  Your best bet is to just stay out of trouble.

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 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption