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If You are an Innocent (Uninvolved) Owner

An Innocent Owner is someone who owns the car that was seized, but who was either not in the car when the police took it or was not involved in the criminal activity. The owner should attend the Krimstock hearing in person, rather than sending someone else. Bring the certificate of title, any forms that show you paid to purchase the car, and any bills that show you pay for insurance and upkeep (gas, repairs, etc.).

Even if you were not in the car when it was seized the police might still believe that you should not get your car back. There are two reasons for this.

First, the police might believe that you knew or should have known the driver was using your car for illegal purposes. If that is not true, you should explain why you did not know that the car was being used to commit a crime and why it would be unfair to expect you to know that the person driving the car was going to use it in a crime.

Second, they might believe that the driver, not the registered owner, is the "beneficial owner" of the car. This means that the driver is the main user of the car and gets the benefit of having the car. If that is not true, you may demonstrate that you keep the car for your own use and not just for the arrested driver's use. To prove that you are the actual owner and the regular user of the car, you might bring in invoices for purchase of the car, repair bills, insurance bills, gas receipts, loan payments, etc. You may also bring evidence that demonstrates you used your own money to buy the car (i.e., payment stubs or proof you bought the car using money in your own checking or savings account).

For more information about the entire hearing process and how it will work, please see the A Quick Summary page of this website where you can read more and also watch a video of an OATH judge giving an overview of the Krimstock process.