A vehicle used to solicit sex can be seized by law enforcement agencies. To retrieve it, a sex buyer must pay an impound or tow fee and/or a fine ranging from about $250 to $2000. In some communities, seized vehicles can be forfeited and sold at auction as part of the penalty for the offense. Forfeiture can also happen if the offenders fail to pay the fees and fines necessary to repossess their vehicles. More than 200 of the 1,650+ U.S. cities and counties that have arrested sex buyers have seized vehicles used in the commission of that crime.
To learn more about this intervention, access the resources below.
Overview of Auto Seizure Practices in the U.S.
- Vehicle Seizure Overview from National Assessment (PDF, 49 KB)
City Council Motions and Ordinances Authorizing Seizing Autos of Arrested Sex Buyers
State Statutes Allowing for Seizure of Vehicles used to Purchase Sex:
- Minnesota (Minn. Stat. § 609.5312)
Articles About City Council Auto Impound Proposals, Including Critique
- Honolulu City Council Bill Proposes Car Impoundment of Prostitute Solicitors
- Albuquerque City Council Proposal Op-Ed: Vehicle Seizure Could Turn Around Prostitution
News Reports on Auto Seizures for Arrested Sex Buyers
- Albuquerque, NM: City Council OKs seizing cars used in prostitution crime
- Denver, CO: Denver Police Arrest 35 On Prostitution Charges
- Flint, MI: Neighbors fight prostitution on Flint’s east side