Criminal conviction and confiscation of a motor vehicle

Taken by virtue of a decision of justice, the confiscation of a vehicle refers in general to the crimes and offences punishable by a penalty of imprisonment of one year or more (article 131-21 of the criminal Code). The confiscation may also be imposed by the correctional court, in the case of an endangerment by culpable breach of an obligation of safety or prudence. The case law is complex in relation to the notion of endangerment. The judges determine, in the light of the facts, if the driver has engaged in conduct that aggravates the offence. This is the case, for example, the driving for a truck driver, crossing deliberate on a red light or exceeded made in the coast. The constitutionality of article 131-21 has recently been questioned from the angle of infringement of the right to property guaranteed by articles 2, 8 and 17 of the Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen.On November 26, 2010 (decision 2010-66), the constitutional Council, however, felt that the penalty of confiscation of the vehicle due to a serious offence was not disproportionate to the seriousness of this offence.

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