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Vehicle Forfeiture/Plate Impoundment

In the State of Minnesota, there are certain DUI/DWI offenses that can result in license plate impoundment, as well as seizure and forfeiture of the motor vehicle that was used in the commission of the offense.

Fighting License Plate Impoundment

Under Minnesota law, the following offenses can result in a plate impoundment order:

  • It is your first offense and you test .16 or more
  • It is your first offense and a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle
  • It is your second or more offense.

Under this law, a driver must surrender the license plates from the vehicle that was used in the commission of the offense, even if the car is owned by someone else.  In addition, a driver must surrender the license plates from every vehicle he or she owns and apply for special registration plates.  These are more commonly referred to as “whiskey plates”, and must remain on the vehicle for a minimum of one year.

This administrative penalty can be challenged by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Fighting Vehicle Forfeiture

Under Minnesota law, certain DWI/DUI offenses will result in the State of Minnesota seizing your vehicle for forfeiture.  In other words, the State wants to take your car, sell it and keep the proceeds for itself.  Vehicle forfeiture will occur when a person is arrested for either a First or Second Degree DWI/DUI.

You have a right to challenge the forfeiture.  To do so, you must file a Petition for Judicial Determination in District Court within 60 days from the date of the notice of seizure and intent to forfeit. This notice is usually given to a driver when he or she is released from jail.  Under most circumstances, if the driver is not convicted of  the underlying DWI/DUI charge, the vehicle must be returned.

Contact Attorney Carson J. Heefner Today

If your vehicle has been forfeited due to DWI, Carson Heefner can help.  He has over 20 years experience representing individuals who’s vehicles have been seized due to a DWI/DUI arrest. He is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense, which is an intensive training seminar for people who defend those accused of DWI/DUI.  For a free consultation, contact Carson at 612-202-8971  or