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Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office Is No Longer Seeking DWI Forfeitures of Vehicles

The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office made the policy decision to not pursue forfeiture of vehicles for anyone arrested for DWI within the City.  The city attorney made the decision after the forfeiture mitigation statute went into effect in the summer of 2019. Any forfeiture-eligible vehicles previously seized by the Minneapolis police, (and whose forfeiture had not become “final”) have been returned to the offenders.The Minneapolis police have also been instructed not to seize any vehicles or issue forfeiture notices for any non-felony DWI offense even if the vehicles are “forfeiture eligible” under the statute.

The Minneapolis City Attorney’s office will not pursue DWI forfeitures of vehicles offenses occurring in the City of Minneapolis as forfeitures have a disparate impact upon the poor.  For example, poor people are not able to afford, under the new forfeiture mitigation statute, the towing,  storage fees, interlock fee and the 8% three-year surety bond.  The Minneapolis City Attorney’s office, therefore, made the policy decision to allow every non-felony DWI offender to obtain the return of the vehicle used in the offense. (Felony DWI’s in Minneapolis are handled by the County Attorney’s Office and are not effected by this policy change.)

But what about people arrested by the State Patrol for a DWI in the City of Minneapolis?  The Minnesota State Patrol has contracted with a private firm to handle DWI forfeitures of vehicles for the DWI arrests made by the agency in Minneapolis.  The State Patrol is continuing to try to forfeit the vehicles even though the chief law enforcement officer for the city has made the policy decision to refrain from DWI forfeitures of vehicles.

Minneapolis DWI Lawyer F. T. Sessoms has filed a challenge to the state patrol’s practice arguing it violates due process and equal protection to forfeit the vehicles of Minneapolis DWI offenders just because they happen to have been arrested by the state patrol and not the Minneapolis police.  Stay tuned!

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI or are facing the forfeiture of your vehicle, contact Minneapolis DWI Lawyer, F. T. Sessoms today at (612) 344-1505 today!