Vehicle forfeiture occurs when a vehicle is used to commit a criminal act, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI). According to Minnesota Statute § 169A.63, in certain DWI cases, the police have the authority to seize and forfeit the vehicle used to commit the criminal act. If the owner does not recover their vehicle, the police have the right to...
Under Minnesota Law, being charged with a DWI can result in multiple legal penalties, including drivers license revocation and vehicle forfeiture. However, there is a statutory exception that provides for a release of your vehicle with enrollment in the ignition interlock program. What steps must be taken before the vehicle will be released? Before getting your vehicle back, there are...
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 609.5312, any person charged with a prostitution offense, who allegedly used their vehicle to commit the offense, can have their motor vehicle forfeited. The Minnesota Legislature recently changed the laws to require a conviction in these cases in order for law enforcement to keep the vehicle, but the police can hold a vehicle for months...
Who knows?! The constitutionality of license plate readers has yet to be challenged head on. Federal courts have decided that scans by license plate readers are constitutional searches that do not require a warrant because the plates are out in public, plain view and so there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. U.S. v. Diaz-Castaneda, 494 F.3d 1146, (9th Cir....
Yes. First of all, vehicles can be forfeited for a number of non-DWI-related crimes, but that’s a subject for another time. Under the Minnesota DWI forfeiture statute, a motor vehicle is subject to forfeiture if used in the commission of a designated DWI offense, which requires a conviction, or was used in conduct resulting in a designated-license revocation. There are...
Highly unlikely. Over the past decade or two, dashboard-mounted police squad vehicle cameras have proliferated across Minnesota law enforcement agencies. Accordingly, squad video has become common evidence in cases involving traffic stops. But just because squad video may not exist in some criminal cases, that does not mean the prosecutor will dismiss the case. In these situations, it just means...
No, as long as we’re talking about a push-pedal bike and not a motorbike. Minnesota DWI/DUI laws only criminalize driving, operating, or being in physical control of motor vehicles. Under Minnesota law, motor vehicles are those that are self-propelled or propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, including motorboats in operation and off-road recreational vehicles. People have picked...
A threshold between Misdemeanor and Gross Misdemeanor DWI charges will be lowered in August 2015. The “legal limit” for alcohol in Minnesota is .08. In other words, one way the state can prove a DWI is through a test of a driver’s blood, breath, or urine. If the test shows an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, the driver can...
Nicole Kettwick and Eric Bain presenting a Minnesota CLE webcast on DWI Forfeitures.
A bill is moving its way through the Minnesota Legislature that contains important updates to Minnesota’s DWI laws. Lower aggravating factor threshold. Currently, there are four aggravating factors that enhance the severity of a DWI offense. These include prior DWI convictions or license revocations, having children under the age of 16 in the vehicle, test refusal, or having a blood-alcohol...
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