Albuquerque in particular has been quite aggressive about seizing vehicles in DWI cases.  If your vehicle has been seized, the deadline is very short for requesting a hearing.

In Albuquerque, you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing.   Other town or cities in New Mexico may have other deadlines.

Collins & Collins, P.C. handles DWI cases predominantly in Albuquerque.  So the discussion below is limited to process in Albuquerque.

Automatic Vehicle Forfeiture 

Failure to request the hearing in a timely manner will result in the automatic forfeiture of your vehicle.  As with the MVD license revocation hearing request, a fee is required with the request for the hearing.  The fee for the hearing is $50.00 which must accompany the hearing request.

This means that your hearing request is valid only if you both file it within 10 days and include the $50.00 administrative hearing fee.  Keep in mind that the filing requirement here is slightly different than the MVD hearing request.

For the Request for Hearing on Vehicle Forfeiture, the request must be received and filed within the 10 day period. This differs from the MVD hearing request which must simply be mailed within the 10 day period.

Filing Issues to Consider

This requirement that request must be filed within 10 days raises two issues.  The first is the reliability of the United States Postal Service which on occasion can fail to properly deliver mail.  If this happens, it is your problem.  It is not the problem of the City of Albuquerque or the Postal Service.  The second issue of possible concern is the proper routing of the request once it gets to the City.

Depending upon your confidence in the reliability of the Postal Service or the city’s mail room, you might be best served by hand delivering the request with the $50.00 fee.  It is not necessary but if there is tight deadline looming, it might be prudent if possible.  An attorney can assist you with this.

Process and Forms for Request of Vehicle Seizure Hearing 

The hearing request form can be obtained through the City of Albuquerque’s Vehicle Seizure Hearing site.  It is important to consult with the site prior to the request.

Though the requirements and forms do not change frequently, when they do, it is important to follow the most current requirements. Consulting the site is helpful for other reasons as well.

The City of Albuquerque Vehicle Seizure Hearing Division website will have instructions on where to send or if preferred to file in person the request for hearing. If you mail the request, be sure it is properly addressed as this too can prevent the proper filing of the request for hearing.

Do Not Delay – An Attorney Can Help!

It goes almost without saying that you should act quickly.  Ten days passes very fast.  Missing the deadline can cause quite a mess and make straightening out your vehicle issue very complicated and difficult.

An experienced DWI attorney can help in meeting this deadline along with the many other deadlines that you are now facing in your DWI case.

Aditional Reading on New Mexico DWI Issues from our DWI Blog