How to fight a motor vehicle fforfeiture?

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How to fight a motor vehicle fforfeiture?

My sister-in-law’s car was seized after my brother ran from the police in it. The state of MN wants to do a Motor Vehicle Forfeiture. How do I go about fighting this in court I am not sure what to look up or where to start?

Asked on March 9, 2011 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

To fight this, your sister in law really needs to get an attorney. Forfeitures like this are *not* easy to fight; the state actually has a fairly low burden of showing that a person who was permitted access to  or use of the property (and presumably your brother had the right to driver her car and did not steal it) used the car in the commission of a crime (such as resisting arrest, which is basically what fleeing from the police is; the exact name of the charge may vary, and there may be other charges in there, too, depending in circumstances--e.g. DUI, reckless endangerment if he put others at risk by how he drove, or if he was fleeing some crime, the car would have been used in that crime (as getaway vehicle)). If they can show this, it's fairly easy to confiscate the vehicle, which is why your sister in law needs legal advice and assistance to have a chance of fighting this.


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