Judge Orders Government to Return Hummer Seized in DWI Arrest

Posted On September 10, 2009 by Charles Ramsay

Today a Washington County District Court Judge ordered the government to return a vehicle seized more than two years ago. The city seized the new "Hummer" when my client was arrested for DWI â?? refusing to submit to a breath test. This was my client's second arrest in ten years. He has not been convicted in either case. When a judge overturned the prior license revocation earlier this year, the state no longer had a basis to hold the vehicle in this case.

Although the prosecutor acknowledged that it had to return the truck, she conditioned the return of the vehicle on payment of $800 in storage fees. Although the city had kept the Hummer on its property and incurred no costs, it insisted on making a profit despite losing the case. The judge shot down the government's position and ordered the city to return the vehicle without costs.

Police have abused Forfeiture laws since their inception, but Policing for Profit has spun out of control in recent years. One need only look at the well publicized problems with the Metro Gang Task Force.

Let's hope the legislature begins to look at some sort of forfeiture reform at the MPR article suggests.

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