Seizure of Vehicle for DUI Forfeiture
When it comes to the seizure of a vehicle, Policy Number 12.03.06(B) of FHP’s Policy Manual lists the factors to be considered in recommending the forfeiture of vehicles. Those rules apply to vehicles seized by the Florida Highway Patrol. For instance, the trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol must first determine whether:
- the vehicle was used, attempted to be used, or intended to be used in violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act; and
- the vehicle’s dealer trade-in value is $5,000.00 or more.
If the vehicle was driven by a person charged with any traffic-related felony, then the vehicle will be seized if it would create a threat to public safety if the vehicle is not seized. Those traffic-related felony offenses that might trigger a seizure for forfeiture might include:
- third DUI within 10 years of a prior conviction;
- fourth or subsequent DUI in a lifetime;
- DUI manslaughter;
- felony DWLSR; or
- DWLSR on a permanent revocation.
For this reason, vehicles that meet the requirements for seizure pursuant to Florida DUI law will often be processed for forfeiture regardless of value.
Attorney for DUI Forfeiture in Tampa, FL
If your vehicle was seized by a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol, a local police officer, or a deputy with the sheriff’s office, after a DUI arrest, then contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm.
We can help you fight the felony DUI charge. We can also help you challenge the seizure of your vehicle for civil or criminal asset forfeiture proceedings.
Our main office is located in downtown Tampa, FL. We have a second office in New Port Richey in Pasco County. We fight DUI cases and vehicle seizures for forfeiture throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.
Requirements for DUI Forfeiture of a Vehicle?
In order to seize a vehicle for DUI forfeiture pursuant to Section 322.34(9), Florida Statutes, the driver must be arrested for DUI in violation of Section 316.193, Florida Statutes.
In addition, the driver’s license must be currently revoked as a result of a prior DUI conviction for a violation of Section 316.193. If a driver has a previous DUI and has not sought the reinstatement of the license, the driver’s license is still considered revoked for the prior DUI.
For vehicles seized for forfeiture by the Florida Highway Patrol for DUI Forfeiture, the trooper must complete the DUI Forfeiture Packet, including the DUI checklist. The documents will be reviewed and processed in the same manner as a Felony Forfeiture Packet.
This article was last updated on Friday, May 28, 2021.