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Forfeiture Vehicle Fraud

Posted by John Rutkowski | Apr 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

Criminal law -- Forfeiture -- Vehicle -- Fraud -- Vehicle purchased and filed under fictitious name -- Facts were sufficient to warrant forfeiture of vehicle pursuant to section 319.33 where defendant admitted to signing sales contract, having dealership title vehicle, applying for tag, and applying for and receiving driver's license under fictitious name. Search and seizure, Defendant's answer and memorandum in opposition to summary judgment did not create genuine issues of material fact because record shows that town refuted defendant's claims that vehicle was impermissibly searched without a warrant where inventory search occurred after defendant was taken into custody and the town lawfully took vehicle when registered owner could not be found -- Jury trial. Forfeiture need not be decided by a jury -- Argument that vehicle could not be considered contraband pursuant to section 932.701 because defendant was not convicted of a felony is rejected. Statute requires only that the individual be using the vehicle in the commission of a felony, not that an individual be convicted. Although state amended information to allege a misdemeanor charge rather than a felony, amendment did not eliminate statute's application for forfeiture proceeding. Vehicle also fits within definition of contraband under section 319.33. Excessive fines. Case remanded for trial court to determine if value of the vehicle is grossly disproportionate to the gravity of the offenses in light of.

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John Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-four years. Prior to going to law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a deputy sheriff before retiring to attend law school. Upon graduating law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a prosecutor in Florida before going in to private practice.

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