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New laws that could impact your assets and your driver’s license

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Part of the job of Minnesota lawmakers is to continually work on and improve the rules that govern our state. While some laws feel more strict, others can make your life less stressful.

Two new laws in Minnesota aim to limit when your driver’s license can be suspended and when law enforcement can (and cannot) seize your assets. Hopefully, these changes will be a step in a better direction for all Minnesotans.

Here’s what you should know about the changes and the impact they could have.

Driver’s license suspension

Previously, unpaid traffic tickets and other fees could result in the loss your driver’s license. A new law recognizes, however, that it’s difficult for Minnesotans to pay their fines if they cannot drive to work.

As of January 1, 2022, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety cannot suspend your driver’s license for:

  • Unpaid traffic or parking tickets
  • Failure to appear in court for a petty misdemeanor
  • Unpaid surcharges for a parking citation

With these limits in place, more Minnesotans can maintain their ability to drive to where they need to be.

Asset forfeiture

In certain circumstances, law enforcement can seize your assets. On January 1st, new laws went into effect that limit when civil asset forfeiture is allowed.

Specifically, law enforcement can no longer seize assets (cash or property) valued under $1,500. Officers also cannot seize a vehicle for failing to appear in court. Additionally, if a forfeiture does take place, there must be a notification for others who have an ownership interest in the asset so they may file an innocent owner claim.

These are important changes to help you maintain your ability to drive and keep your property in Minnesota. What do you think of the new laws? Could Minnesota legislators have gone even farther in protecting your rights?