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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Vehicle Seizure Hearings 

1. Q: WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I ARRIVE AT MY HEARING?

    A: When you arrive at the vehicle seizure hearing you will meet with the City Attorney in order to determine if you are eligible for an alternative resolution to your case. Among the facts that the City Attorney will take into consideration is the DWI history of the offender. You may also be asked additional questions in order to determine if an alternative resolution is appropriate. You should be prepared to present your case at this time. If you are going to be represented by an attorney, your attorney will need to be present, however, you are not required to have an attorney. You are not required to try to resolve your case with the City Attorney. You may have a Probable Cause Hearing if you choose.


2. Q: WHAT IF I WANT A PROBABLE CAUSE HEARING?

    A: If it is determined that you are not eligible for an alternative resolution or if you choose not to accept an alternative resolution, you will proceed to a Probable Cause Hearing. At that point the Administrative Hearing Officer will enter the room and conduct the hearing. The police officer and hearing monitor will also be present. The hearing is open to the public and there may be other people in the room.


3. Q: WHAT IF I WORK OUT AN ALTERNATIVE RESOLUTION?

    A: If an alternative resolution is appropriate for you, you will be required to sign an agreement with the City. If you do not understand the terms of the agreement you may ask the City Attorney to explain it more thoroughly. Please be advised, the City Attorney represents the Rio Rancho Police Department for vehicle seizures. The City Attorney cannot give you legal advice. It is also inappropriate for either party to consult with the Administrative Hearing Officer prior to the hearing because he/she is an independent finder of fact. By signing an agreement with the City you are waiving your right to a hearing. No further action will be taken against you unless you do not adhere to the terms of the agreement.


4. Q: WHAT OTHER OPTION DO I HAVE?

    A: If you choose to disclaim your interest in your vehicle you will be asked to sign a Disclaimer. By signing a Disclaimer you are waiving your right to a hearing. It is a final disposition of the matter and no further action will be taken against you.


5. Q: DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?

    A: The Office of Administrative Hearings is independent from the Office of the City Attorney. The Office of Administrative Hearings and the Office of the City Attorney will not provide legal advice or counsel to you. If you seek legal counsel you must hire your own attorney. You are not required to have an attorney.


6. Q: DO I NEED TO MAKE A DECISION TODAY?

    A: Your hearing is scheduled to occur on the day that is indicated on your Notice of Hearing. The police officers are scheduled to be present on that day. If you would like more time to consider your options you may request a continuance. If you request a continuance you will have to waive time limits and you may have to pay additional witness fees. Additional witness fees are assessed by the Administrative Hearing Office and not the City Attorney.