Below is an overview of the forfeiture and impoundment process in Minnesota. Read through our Definitions tab for commonly used words, and read through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information about the forfeiture and impoundment process. The Forms tab will help guide you to the forms packets that are available.
What is Forfeiture?
Forfeiture is the process that a state agency uses to seize (take) property from an owner after someone is arrested, charged, or convicted of a specific crime. Usually this happens when someone is arrested by law enforcement for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances (drugs) or alcohol or after fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. The motor vehicle and other property can be seized. Your property, including cash, could also be seized during a drug arrest. Forfeiture of property is a civil issue that is separate from any criminal charges that may have been filed against someone. To get your property back, you may need to file paperwork with the court.
If you are the owner of a motor vehicle that was seized while someone else was driving, you may be able to ask the prosecuting authority to return the vehicle to you without having to file paperwork with the court. If you don’t know whether you are an innocent owner or if you have questions about bringing an innocent owner claim, you may want to consider getting legal advice.
For more information about forfeiture, see the FAQs.