If a vessel gets served an arrest warrant, then it could potentially shut down your business for a period of time. Dealing with vessel arrest for the first time can take a lot of effort, understanding and hours.
Understanding the potential reasons behind vessel detention can help you figure out how to handle it.
Can you stop the seizure of your vessel?
One of the first questions you likely have is: can you stop your vessel from getting arrested? The U.S. Marshals Service discusses situations when authorities wish to seize a vessel, and your rights.
With the proper advanced notice, you have options at your disposal for potentially stopping the seizure of your vessel. For example, you can settle any associated charges by paying fees or fines indicated in the suit. You can also put up a financial surety that acknowledges your agreement to appear, and the suit itself.
Why is the seizure happening?
Of course, after this, your next biggest question is likely: why is the seizure happening in the first place?
There are several reasons why this may occur. First, did your crew violate maritime law? This is actually one of the top reasons that commercial ships end up detained. For example, a crew that hits one ship and flees without handling the matter is actually committing evasion, which is punishable by law.
Next, is someone a suspect in a crime? If the court issues a warrant for someone’s arrest and they flee onto a boat, the authorities may then issue a warrant for seizure of the vessel to ensure that the potential suspect does not get away.
Understanding these potential scenarios can make it easier to anticipate how to handle these matters.