What to do if I loaned a friend my car who was then arrested with 3 pounds of marijuana in the car?

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What to do if I loaned a friend my car who was then arrested with 3 pounds of marijuana in the car?

Am I in anyway liable for criminal prosecution? Will I lose my car? I was not in the car at the time of arrest.

Asked on December 14, 2012 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is a lesson in being very careful who you load a car too.  Unfortunately for you, many drug dealers will loan cars to those who transport or deal their drugs so they cannot be caught with them and arrested.  The police and prosecutors know this and thus are very suspicious that the person who owns the car knew what it was being used for.

You should consult with an expert criminal defense lawyer who is also familiar with forfeiture law, such as myself.  While being arrested for this offense is not very likely as the only evidence they would have that it was your drugs is it being in your car and/or the statements of the person caught, this is usually not enough to get you convicted.  Still, if the person arrested cooperates with them, it could be trouble for you.  At the very least you are probably going to need a lawyer to file a claim for the car.  As it appears from your question that you have not bee given the car back, this is probably because the State is seeking to hold onto it and sell it at auction as proceeds from illegal drug activity - which they can do through a process called forfeiture.  If you don't take steps within 30 days of the seizure of your property, they may be entitled to keep it forever and you may lose it. 

An experienced criminal defense lawyer such as myself can make sure your car is not forfeited to the State and help you get it returned.  We can also increase your odds that the State won't take out a warrant for your arrest.  It's definately worth making an appointment for a free consultation.

David West

Attorney at Law

David West / David West & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is a lesson in being very careful who you load a car too.  Unfortunately for you, many drug dealers will loan cars to those who transport or deal their drugs so they cannot be caught with them and arrested.  The police and prosecutors know this and thus are very suspicious that the person who owns the car knew what it was being used for.

You should consult with an expert criminal defense lawyer who is also familiar with forfeiture law, such as myself.  While being arrested for this offense is not very likely as the only evidence they would have that it was your drugs is it being in your car and/or the statements of the person caught, this is usually not enough to get you convicted.  Still, if the person arrested cooperates with them, it could be trouble for you.  At the very least you are probably going to need a lawyer to file a claim for the car.  As it appears from your question that you have not bee given the car back, this is probably because the State is seeking to hold onto it and sell it at auction as proceeds from illegal drug activity - which they can do through a process called forfeiture.  If you don't take steps within 30 days of the seizure of your property, they may be entitled to keep it forever and you may lose it. 

An experienced criminal defense lawyer such as myself can make sure your car is not forfeited to the State and help you get it returned.  We can also increase your odds that the State won't take out a warrant for your arrest.  It's definately worth making an appointment for a free consultation.

David West

Attorney at Law


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