CASE LAW UPDATE: Whether the forfeiture of defendant’s 1985 Ferrari worth approximately $75,000 should be reversed?
Defendant was convicted of 3rd degree DWI while he had a B card restriction. Concurrently, his 1985 Ferrari worth approximately $75,000 was forfeited. On appeal, defendant challenged the forfeiture on the grounds (1) that he was not convicted of a designated offense; and (2) the forfeiture of his Ferrari violated the 8th Amendment prohibition on excessive fines. The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the forfeiture. Usually, a vehicle may be forfeited only if a person is convicted of 2nd degree DWI or greater. However, the statute also provides for forfeiture if a defendant is convicted of any level DWI when the defendant also has a restriction on their drivers license. Hence, defendant was convicted of a designated offense. Additionally, the Minnesota Court of Appeals simply concluded that the $75,000 vehicle forfeiture was not grossly disproportionate.
This case is a very good example of why forfeiture laws need to be struck down.
Jensen v. 1985 Ferrari, A19-1927, Dakota County.
Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.