Innocent until proven guilty?
Not when it comes to civil forfeiture…
Civil forfeiture is the device that the government uses to take private property that they allege is connected to illegal activity. Through civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without charging you with a crime.
In 2008, the total assets seized in forfeiture proceedings was $49,179,252.
Given the amount of money involved, it’s easy to see how this process can be abused.
What types of property are subject to forfeiture? The list is limitless. If it has value and is connected to a crime, the property can be seized. Examples include:
- Motor vehicles
- Real estate
- Boats & or private planes
- Photography Equipment
Property forfeiture cases are civil proceedings, not criminal cases, and the owner of the property need not be a defendant or even a person of interest in a criminal case. All the government has to show is that there is a connection between the seized property and certain specific criminal activity.
Still Owe Money on Your Car? It Doesn’t Matter – the Government Can Still Try to Take it
If you have received notice that the government intends to forfeit your property, you must act quickly as there are strict time limits for defending and contesting a forfeiture action.
Procrastination can cause you to miss critical deadlines. Call our office at 281-667-9414 or email the attorneys at Law Offices of Steven A. Hershkowitz, experienced criminal defense and asset forfeiture attorneys today.