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Are You Aware Of How MN DWI Penalties Can Affect You?

Don't Lose Your Vehicle As A Penalty For A Minnesota DWI!

There is no doubt that MN DWI penalties can be quite severe, but one of the MN DWI penalties that can be the most concerning is administrative vehicle forfeiture. After all, no one wants to be without a vehicle, and you certainly don't want to get stuck paying storage fees for a vehicle that has been impounded.

According to Minnesota DWI law, your vehicle may be seized after you get your third DWI violation within a ten-year period. You may also have your vehicle taken if this is your first or second offense, and one or more of the following factors are also involved:

  • Having a prior impaired driving incident within 10 years prior to the new offense
  • You had an alcohol concentration of 0.20 or more
  • A child below the age of 16 was a passenger in the vehicle
  • A child who is more than 36 months younger than the offender was also in the vehicle

This penalty for a Minnesota DWI may be enforced by the arresting officer, though the prosecuting attorney must also serve notice to the owner or owners of the vehicle. Unless the owner of the vehicle appeals the forfeiture by filing for a judicial determination of forfeiture, the penalty for a Minnesota DWI will be administratively enforced after 30 days.

In order to be subject to forfeiture under Minnesota law, one of these conditions must be met:

  • The vehicle was used to carry out the offense and the person driving the vehicle was either convicted of the offense or failed to appear for trial.
  • The vehicle was used to carry out an offense that resulted in the designated license being revoked, and the driver either failed to seek administrative or judicial review in a timely manner or the revocation was sustained after being reviewed.

If you own other vehicles besides the one that was involved in the incident, those vehicles are not subject to forfeiture. Further, if you are driving a vehicle that belongs to someone else, the law dictates that this vehicle is also not subject to forfeiture if the owner didn't know, and didn't have any reason to know, that the vehicle was going to be used in an unlawful manner.

The bottom line is that vehicle forfeiture is one of the harshest MN DWI penalties that you may face. Not only can it leave you without transportation, it can also cost a significant amount of money in the long run - particularly if your vehicle is permanently retained. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible following your arrest. This way, you can have the best chance of minimizing your MN DWI penalties and will be at less risk of losing your vehicle.

Douglas V. Hazelton has been practicing Twin Cities, Minnesota DUI law for many years. The focus of his practice is criminal law, with alcohol-related offenses --- such as a Twin Cities DUI arrest --- being his prime area of concentration. Hazelton has lectured to national audiences regarding DWI related topics and has published numerous articles on the subject.

Don’t risk your driving freedom! Get the assistance of a DUI / DWI attorney experienced in the Minnesota DUI law. Hire an attorney who will get the job done right by calling Doug V. Hazelton at 1-612-334-3342.