Driving While Intoxicated Can Cost You Your Vehicle
Being pulled over by the police is a very sobering experience after a night out on the town. In that instant, all of the laughter and fun are swept away as the dread of what currently unfolds washes over you. Anxiety courses through your mind as you mentally debate your level of intoxication. After convincing yourself that you are safe to drive, it comes as a complete shock when not only are you being charged with a DUI but they are also seizing your vehicle.
Can They Do That?
The short answer is yes, under the right circumstances police can seize your vehicle. In fact, an officer can also take a vehicle that is not even registered to the drunken driver. Additionally, the authority encompasses all forms of transportation, including watercraft. Furthermore, Article 36 of the Illinois Criminal Code explains that in addition to a seizure to impound, law enforcement also reserves the right to sell the vehicle at auction. The intent to sell the property is often unknown and is humiliatingly discovered at the police station, in front of at least one friend or family member that provided the transportation to the station expecting to drive away in separate cars.
What Offenses Place You at Risk?
Fortunately for many, the first instance of DUI is not often a prime target for vehicle forfeiture. Although, this may change due to officials looking for new and creative avenues for generating revenue and police auctions have the potential to bring in a significant amount. Therefore, the offenses that can result in seizure are becoming more numerous. These are including, but not limited to:
- DUI if the driver’s license is currently revoked or suspended due to DUI;
- DUI if there is a past of reckless homicide related to drugs or alcohol;
- First-degree murder;
- Aggravated kidnapping;
- Criminal sexual assault;
- Promotion of juvenile prostitution;
- Child pornography;
- Residential burglary;
- Reckless discharge of a firearm;
- Gambling; and
If you or a loved one has experienced vehicle seizure and is pending forfeiture, you should know that you still have rights. You do not have to let them have your vehicle, and you do have the authority to demand that your voice is heard. You also have the power to take your case to trial, where you can potentially turn the entire situation around. However, this endeavor is not advised except with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.
If you would like to discuss the details of your situation and learn about your options by speaking with a DuPage County, IL criminal defense attorney, contact Davi Law Group, LLC today at one of our four offices in Chicago, Wheaton, Joliet, and Warrenville by calling (630) 580-6373. We proudly serve clients throughout DuPage, Kane, Will, Cook and Kendall Counties.