Did you know that the City of Albuquerque has the legal authority to seize vehicles upon arrest, without conviction, in the following situations:
- Being arrested for DWI
- Being arrested while having a license that was suspended or revoked due to a previous DWI
- Being arrested while having a license that was suspended or revoked due to a previous hand gun charge
Whether it’s fair or not is irrelevant, it’s the law. And it happens to people in Albuquerque on a daily basis. So if this happens to you, is there a way to get your car back?
Yes! The good news is that you may request an administrative hearing if you act within 10 days of the arrest. A form must be filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings along with a money order, cashier check, or attorney check for $50.00 for each request.
A hearing will be scheduled and at that time a Hearing Officer will determine whether APD had probable cause to seize the vehicle in the name of the City. You also have the right to retain the legal counsel of your choice to represent you and your interests at the hearing. Within two business days, the Hearing Officer will mail written notice of the official decision. If the Hearing Officer determines that there was not sufficient probable cause to seize the vehicle an Order for Release will be issued. Find more info about vehicle seizures at http://www.cabq.gov/clerk/administrative-hearings/vehicle-seizure-hearings. You can also download the Hearing Request Form at http://www.cabq.gov/clerk/administrative-hearings/documents/vehicle-seizure-citation-request-for-hearing.pdf/view.
Of course, to avoid saying “My car was seized”, you can always call ride services such Uber, or even get free ride services from the Tavern Taxi at 999-1400! Visit www.bernco.gov/Tavern-Taxi for more information.