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Charged with Patronizing a Prostitute - Car Seized

A recent initiative operated by the New York City Police Department's civil enforcement unit, "Operation Losing Proposition," has resulted in numerous arrests in Brooklyn and Queens. The operation includes an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute and then arresting men, or "johns," who are allegedly looking for them. An individual caught up in one of these police raids can find themselves charged with violating New York Penal Code 230.04 , Patronizing a Prostitute, 3rd Degree. In addition to being charged with a crime, the police have often been seizing the vehicles of the "johns" who are being charged with soliciting or requesting sex from the prostitute; or the undercover officer posing as a prostitute.

If an individual's automobile is seized as a result of such an arrest, there is a somewhat involved process in getting your car back. The first option is to wait until the criminal case has been resolved - obtain a Certificate of Disposition from Criminal Court - and present same to the New York City Police Department Property Clerk; and they will provide you with a Release to get your car out of the impound. If you need your car sooner than that, as many people do, there is a way to speed things up a bit. In lieu of a forfeiture action, you can agree to settle the matter and begin the process of getting your automobile released. First, you need to obtain an Agreement of Settlement and Hold Harmless Agreement from the Civil Enforcement Unit of the NYPD. You will also need to get a District Attorney's Release. The gist of the DA's Release is that the prosecutor does not need your car as evidence in the criminal case still pending. After these documents are procured, they are taken to the Property Clerk along with a bank check, US Postal Service Money Order or attorney's escrow check in the amount of $500 to obtain a Release to bring to the auto pound. The Release obtained from the property clerk, along with proof of ownership of the vehicle is then taken to the pound so that you can get your car back.

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