Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy has installed a vigorous anti-DWI program since his tenure began in 2008. Levy, a former criminal defense lawyer, has worked with local police agencies in adopting a vehicle forfeiture program in felony DWI cases. Since implementation of the seizure plan in January of 2010, 29 vehicles have been taken from owners convicted of felony DWI. The vehicles are then sold at auction, with the proceeds split between local police agencies, the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS), and Putnam County.
Putnam County spent $30,000 buying a lot in Carmel where seized vehicles are stored. Other counties, including Westchester County and Rockland County, are installing the same forfeiture program. In Westchester County, no cars have yet been seized because the law is new and no convictions have apparently been obtained under the forfeiture provisions, which only involve arrests and convictions on county owned roads.
Putnam County had 553 DWI arrests in 2008, a significant increase from the 392 in 2007. Putnam hired an assistant district attorney with the specific role of supervising the forfeiture program. There is a financial hardship exception in which vehicles can be returned, such as in cases where the family has only one vehicle and other family members would face job loss or be unable to care for a relative with health problems unless they had access to the car. However, there will be a specific stipulation that the convicted motorist will be forbidden from operating the vehicle.
If you are charged with a DWI, other criminal offense, or a traffic infraction, contact the Westchester County DWI Lawyers at the White Plains, New York Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and rights.