Did you recently receive a vehicle seizure and impoundment notice? If so, you are not alone. North Carolina police seize – and eventually sell off – many vehicles each year.
For NC residents, the vehicle seizure process can be confusing and distressing. Losing access to your vehicle can be incredibly disruptive to your life. Even worse, if your vehicle is forfeited, not only will you not receive money from the sale, but you actually may receive a bill in the mail for towing and storage costs.
Under state and federal laws, the government has the ability to seize vehicles for a number of different reasons. However, it can only do so when certain conditions are met.
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., our Shelby criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling vehicle seizure claims. We can help you fight to have your vehicle returned.
Reasons Why Your Vehicle Could Be Seized in North Carolina
There are many different reasons why a motor vehicle might be seized. A car could be seized by a private party for financial reasons. For example, if a borrower defaults on a car loan, then the lender has the right to take legal action to get that vehicle back or “repossess” it. Further, state or federal tax collectors may seize a vehicle on the grounds that tax payments are owed.
In North Carolina, a vehicle can also be seized on the grounds that it was used in connection with a crime. For example, if a vehicle was connected to drug trafficking, even if its only connection was that drugs were at one point transported in the trunk, it may be seized. Though far more commonly, North Carolina police seize cars in relation to alleged drunk driving.
North Carolina DWIs and Vehicles Seizure Laws
North Carolina has very strict drunk driving laws. Under certain conditions, a DWI could lead to an automatic vehicle seizure and forfeiture. Indeed, under Section 20-28.3 of the North Carolina statutes, police officers are instructed to seize a vehicle if:
- A person is arrested for a DWI; and
- Their license has already been revoked for intoxicated driving or they have no driver’s license and no valid insurance.
This is a very strict rule. Indeed, in this scenario, vehicle seizure is mandated even if the allegedly intoxicated person is driving someone else’s vehicle.
You Need Representation During a Forfeiture Hearing
If your car has been subject to a DWI vehicle seizure, you need to request a forfeiture hearing as soon as possible. Regardless of the specific facts of your case, you need to ensure that you have a qualified attorney by your side who can fight aggressively to have your car turned back over to you.
Our team will review the NC vehicle seizure form to determine exactly what needs to be done to protect your right to recover your vehicle.
Contact Our North Carolina Vehicle Seizure Lawyers Today
If your vehicle has been seized for any reason, our team is standing by, ready to help.
Please contact us today to schedule your fully confidential vehicle seizure consultation. We serve clients throughout Western North Carolina, including in Shelby, Lincolnton, Cleveland County, Lincoln County and Rutherford County.