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Vehicle seizure following DWI on revoked driver's license

Law enforcement officers in North Carolina seize the vehicles of drivers who are charged with DWI when they are driving with a revoked driver's license for prior impaired driving charges. Those who find themselves in this position may wonder what is happening to their vehicles and how they will be able to get them back.

First, the vehicles are towed to storage facilities, and the accused must ask the law enforcement agencies responsible for their detainment about where those facilities are. A few days later, the vehicles are towed to the state contractors' facilities. A person who is accused of driving while intoxicated on a revoked driver's license has to show that the license was not revoked for a prior impaired driving charge to have the vehicle released. The person also needs to ask the clerk for form AOC-CR-333A as well as meet other requirements.

The court will decide whether the vehicle is returned to the defendant or transferred to a local school board. However, the vehicle might also be sold in a pretrial sale if 90 days has gone by since the seizure and the vehicle is worth $1,500 or less, or if the towing and storage fees exceed 85 percent of the vehicle's worth. If the vehicle is released, the individual has to contact the company holding the vehicle to arrange for a pick-up time. The company should notify the individual of the items needed to retake the vehicle, such as photo ID, payment for the towing and storage and a certified copy of the release order.

Individuals accused of DWI on revoked driver's licenses could get lawyers to help them show that their licenses had not been revoked for a prior impaired driving charge. If their vehicles are released and they still face the DWI charges, the lawyers may also help them prove otherwise or negotiate plea bargains to lessen the sentencing.

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