Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Monday, November 24, 2014

Depending on Your Offense, You May Lose More Than Your License

It’s becoming more common that law enforcement officials seize vehicles as a result of a criminal investigation or simply pulling a driver over and deciding the person is suspicious. In Michigan, depending on what you’re convicted of, your vehicle may be seized by law enforcement. Given how important your vehicle is to your life, and that of your family, if you find yourself in this situation you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you repeatedly drive while your license is suspended/revoked/denied, or if you’ve committed multiple substance abuse-related offenses, you may be subject to vehicle forfeiture

• The court may order the vehicle be sold if you own the vehicle in whole or in part. 
• Proceeds from the sale would be distributed according to priorities defined by state statute, first to pay loans secured by the vehicle.
• If the vehicle is leased, it may be returned to the lessor. 

Vehicle forfeiture is possible and at the court’s discretion if:

• You are charged with your first DUI offense and a death or injury occurred because of your intoxicated driving.
• The DUI offense is your second such offense or if you have committed a prior DUI in the past seven years, if the offense was not a “zero tolerance” offense.
• It’s your third DUI offense or your third criminal offense in the past ten years.

The judge will decide during the sentencing phase of your trial if vehicle forfeiture is appropriate. Forfeiture only applies to a vehicle owned by the offender, not an innocent individual whose vehicle was borrowed.

A vehicle can be seized at the scene of the alleged crime before a trial occurs.  If so, you may ask the court to require the seizing agency to file a lien against the vehicle and return the vehicle pending conclusion of the case.  You would have to convince the judge the vehicle is needed for you or a family member while the case is pending.
You may be tempted to hide, sell, give away or transfer the vehicle order to avoid forfeiture. If so, you could be charged with an additional misdemeanor.

If you are in the Flint or Troy, Michigan area, have been charged with a crime and have had your vehicle seized, or you may lose it as part of your sentence, contact Martin T. Lievois today to defend your rights, your freedom and your ability to keep your vehicle.  He can be reached in Troy at (248)419-1566 and Flint at (810)250-4550.

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| Phone: 810-232-3223
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| Phone: 248-498-2525

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