One of the Hudson Valley’s Most Respected Criminal Defense Law Firms, We Represent Those Subject to Vehicle Forfeiture Related to a DWI/DUI Related Offense

Our founding lawyer has won major acquittals for clients throughout the Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Rockland and Orange County NY area.

If you have been arrested on a DWI / DUI charge, the police can immediately impound your vehicle and bring forfeiture proceedings. You can obtain the car after your arrest; however, you will be required to pay the forfeiture fees, i.e., towing and impound lot fees. Additionally, you are prevented from selling the car pending the completion of the forfeiture proceedings. It is important to note that these are civil proceedings, completely separate from your criminal proceedings.

Forfeiture Applies Even If You Are Not the Owner of the Vehicle

The police can still bring forfeiture proceedings even if you were not the owner of the vehicle you were driving. If you lease, rather than own your vehicle, and you lose the forfeiture proceedings, you are still responsible for paying off the remainder of your car lease and any related charges, including the leasing company’s legal fees. If the owner of the vehicle did not have knowledge that you were operating the vehicle, he or she can claim the Innocent Owner Defense. This is just a defense; it does not prevent the forfeiture proceedings. This defense is harder to win if the innocent owner was a family member because courts deem family members aware of a driver’s propensity for drinking and driving.

You Can Win Your DWI / DUI Case and Still Lose Your Vehicle in a Forfeiture Proceeding

Winning your DWI / DUI case does not mean that you will automatically get your vehicle back. The DWI Civil Forfeiture standard of proof is much lower than that of the criminal case. There are defenses though that can possibly get you around that lower burden, such as untimely filing, undue hardship and inadequate notice.

The civil penalties associated with a DWI / DUI arrest are harsh and the proceedings are complex. You need a skilled attorney on your side. Ostrer & Associates have vast experience representing DWI / DUI clients both in criminal, DMV and vehicle forfeiture proceedings. We know the defenses and how to apply them to your case.

If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI offense and have had your vehicle impounded, contact the experienced, skilled criminal defense lawyers of Ostrer & Associates, P.C. who will aggressively defend you.

P.O. Box 509
111 Main Street, Chester, NY 10918