Maybe you lend your family car to your teenager for the an evening of fun. The fact is that the City and County of Denver has a lot of power beyond just what may happen in the criminal courts if you are accused of certain crimes that occur in the car. For example, if you are accused of drag racing the City and County of Denver can seize your car through a process called “nuisance abatement.” Nuisance abatement was designed by the City and County of Denver to remedy public nuisances by removing property (cars, real property and personal property) to ensure that criminal activity and the use of property for criminal purposes is unprofitable and to deter public nuisances.
What is even more frightening is that the City and County of Denver can seize your car for things you never even did or had knowledge about. Imagine that you lend your car to a friend or to one of your children. If that person commits a certain crime in that car while they are borrowing it (even if you are not in the car and have no idea about the crime) the City may still seize YOUR car even though you had no direct role in the commission of that crime. To make matters worse the city is typically under no obligation to return your car to you and that property may be sold at auction.
The good news is that hope is not lost. You can still fight for your property and defend your rights in court. If you find yourself in this situation you need to act soon because nuisance abatement is typically governed by strict time limits and fees which grow as each day your car sits in impound.
Examples of crimes that can trigger nuisance abatement in Denver include:
Certain drug crimes
Disturbing the peace
Habitual Traffic Offenders (HTO)
While we hope you benefit from the information we posted above, it is important to note that we always suggest you contact an attorney to advise you and walk you through the legal process so that you can achieve the best possible result.