Miami Asset Forfeiture Attorney
One of the most common consequences of a criminal investigation or arrest is asset forfeiture. Asset forfeitures occur when assets are confiscated by the state or the federal government. The theory of why the state or the federal government can confiscate the assets of another is that the assets in question were proceeds or instruments of criminal activity. Just the allegation from a police officer or agent is sufficient to confiscate and hold onto someone’s assets. This is big business for local police departments. The seizure and sometimes illegal forfeiture of the assets of people accused of a crime funds equipment, training, travel, bonuses and other expenses of many local police forces.
What is an Asset Forfeiture?
Asset forfeiture is the conclusion of a legal proceeding that results in the police department or government agency gaining legal ownership of the assets of another person. It’s the seizing of personal or business assets, and then converting ownership of those assets to that of the government that leads to the forfeiture.
How can my assets be forfeited?
There are several ways that assets can be forfeited. The most common circumstance is a seizure of assets that occurs during the course of a criminal investigation and evidence that the assets were the fruits of illegal activity.
In real world terms, assets are forfeited when police officers or agents come into possession of money, cars or other property of someone they believe is a criminal. The police don’t release the property. They seize it and refuse to release the property to its rightful owner. Practically speaking, assets are usually seized in a circumstance when the police target or entrap individuals with police informants, illegal detentions, executing search warrants for an unrelated crime.
Assets are also commonly seize and sought to be forfeited in situations where the government has reason to believe that illegal proceeds paid for or is maintaining certain assets. This is common in a big fraud investigation or Ponzi scheme was a luxury home; luxury cars and boats belong to the person suspected or under indictment. The government will file a petition in court seeking a judge to declare that the assets into question should be forfeited.
After seizing the assets of another, the government will put the person believed to be the owner of the assets on notice of the government’s intention to permanent seize those assets and forfeit their ownership.
Can I fight back against asset forfeiture?
Yes. Asset forfeiture proceedings are legal proceedings that require due process. These proceedings can be complex and detailed. The person whose assets are sought to be forfeited can retain counsel and fight back. When retaining an attorney, the major issue for a client to consider is the litigation and trial experience of that lawyer.
Forfeiture proceedings are detailed and complex. These hearings are also adversarial and contentious in nature. The lawyer for the police departments is going to want to keep your money. You have to be prepared to litigate and stand up for yourself in court. Our firm has a depth of experience in litigating and winning forfeiture proceedings.