But let’s say you handed the Border Patrol Agent a false form of identification
Certain federal crimes include a penalty of forfeiture of property including a motor vehicle (even a boat or plane). Put simply, if you have done certain things and you were caught while in or on or around your motor vehicle then that vehicle can be taken from you and sold and, no, you do not get any of the money.
These laws are set forth in USC Title 8 section #1324 and in INS act 274. This all is covered in federal Maritime Law.
Further, it is also covered in federal RICO statutes (you can use the HBO series Sopranos as a training film for RICO).
If you have used forged documents then your vehicle is history. If you were smuggling someone then — again — you will lose the vehicle.
Being a smuggler can be defined as: The "Someone" in a car with an illegal alien who has or would "further their entry".
There must be probable cause for seizure of the vehicle but it is usually fairly obvious that something untoward has been discovered:
A person — or persons — hiding in the trunk of your car will usually engender some curiosity even in the most miasmic Border Patrol Agent.
Or duct taped to the underside of the vehicle.
Or the discovery of a vehicle fitted with a special bench seat where all the stuffing has been removed and replaced by your illegal alien girlfriend.
Or strapped to the underside of the wheel well of a truck.
Or duct taped inside the cloth headliner of your vehicle.
What is required is your knowledge that the person is there and / or reckless disregard. The seizure action is against the vehicle and not against the people arrested. Yes, it is against the conveyance itself.
Once you have been handcuffed and removed to a clean — if barren — room with green enamel painted walls and a toilet obscured from view only by a two foot high concrete block wall, your vehicle will be removed as well.
Your vehicle will be transported to a vehicle seizure lot run by U.S. Marshals. Your vehicle is no longer your problem and it is no longer the USBP’s problem.
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