Seizure of Vehicle for DUI Forfeiture
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) follows strict guidelines for seizing vehicles for forfeiture. Many of those guidelines are listed in FHP’s Policy Manual Number 12.03.06(B). For example, 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 (FCFA); 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, the vehicle might be seized if it creates a threat to public safety regardless of its trade-in value. Those traffic-related felony offenses that might trigger a seizure for forfeiture include:
- third DUI within ten (10) years of a prior conviction;
- fourth or subsequent DUI in a lifetime;
- DUI manslaughter;
- felony DWLSR; or
- DWLSR with a permanent revocation.
Attorney for DUI Forfeiture in Tampa, FL
If your vehicle was seized after a DUI arrest, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. The agencies that seize vehicles for forfeiture include the Florida Highway Patrol, the sheriff’s office, or a local police department.
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?
Section 322.34(9), Florida Statutes, explains three reasons why a vehicle might be seized for forfeiture. Under subsection (a), the driver is arrested for DUI under Section 316.193, Florida Statutes, and at the time of the offense, the person’s driver license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, as a result of a prior conviction for DUI.
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 forfeiture after a DUI, 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.