Vehicle Seizure: Can I Get My Car Back?

It does not seem right. You may have been completely unaware your car or truck was being driven by someone with a record of DWI offenses, and still lose it under North Carolina's onerous vehicle seizure laws. At our Charlotte firm, attorney Chris Connelly can petition for the return of cars seized after DWI arrests and stops for other traffic violations.

You may be able to recover your car after vehicle seizure. Call 704-376-9376 or email our Charlotte office for a consultation.

As your lawyer, Mr. Connelly will explain your position under North Carolina law. There are circumstances under which the owner of a vehicle can recover it after it has been seized by police. Questions the attorney will ask include:

  • Was your car stolen or borrowed without permission?
  • Did you loan it without knowledge that the driver had previous drunk driving offenses or was driving on a suspended driver's license or revoked driver's license?
  • Do you owe money on the car?

You may never see your car again. Take action today. Call 704-376-9376 or email our Charlotte office to schedule a consultation about vehicle seizure and recovery. More information is available on the following related topics:

  • License revoked/suspended: What was the driver's license status of the person using your car?
  • Do I need a lawyer for a traffic matter?
  • Boating while impaired
  • Speeding tickets
  • Traffic violations


Effective for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2011, a person convicted of impaired driving must be sentenced at Level One punishment (mandating 30 days minimum in jail, maximum of 2 years in jail) if there was a child under the chronological age of 18 or an adult with the mental development of a child under the age of 18 or a person with a physical disability that prevented them from exiting the vehicle on their own.

Stopping Patterns At Vehicle Checkpoints

Effective December 1, 2011, the law now requires law enforcement agencies to designate in advance a pattern for stopping vehicles at checkpoints and also prohibits law enforcement from basing a stopping pattern on a particular vehicle

Laura's Law

Effective December 1, 2011, the onerous "Laura's Law" could even increase punishment for a second-time DWI offense by establishing an "aggravated Level One" punishment. This law mandates 12 months in prison if there are three or more grossly aggravating factors. Some of the more onerous applications that would require one year in jail would be if the defendant had a prior conviction from six years ago, never resolved their DWI related suspension and had a child in the car or had two prior convictions from six years ago and never resolved their DWI related suspension. The defendant who receives this sentence of imprisonment must be released four months before the end of the maximum and be placed on post-release supervision. They must abstain from alcohol during this period and it must be verified by 24/7 monitoring system.

"Laura's Law" also provides for a permanent license revocation for this defendant and requires an ignition interlock if the person's license is restored.

The Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
Charlotte-Mecklenburg criminal defense attorney

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