If someone is convicted of certain crimes, not only could they lose their freedom, but they could lose their property. For instance, when government officials believe that someone is involved in schemes such as money laundering, drug transportation, or organized crime, authorities might seize property related to those offenses.
In order to seize assets, the government needs to prove that more likely than not, certain property was involved in carrying out a crime. This could mean anything from a laptop that was utilized to steal identities to a car that was said to transport contraband, or even money that was gained through drug trafficking. Sometimes, this forfeiture even occurs when someone else owns the assets; someone who was not convicted of a crime.
Get Representation Be aware of your rights and how you can assert them! Speak with our Oakland drug crime attorney today if you are faced with the prospect of asset forfeiture. You can get started with a free, initial consultation! Start Now
At the beginning of certain criminal cases, the government installs a lien on the defendant's property. The prosecutor will then notify the defendant that the property involved in the crime is being claimed by state or federal authorities. If the defendant is convicted, then the jury might agree that asset forfeiture should occur. If asset forfeiture is included as part of the sentence, then officials would have to publish a notice that the defendant is about to forfeit property, thus alerting any other owners.
What if an innocent party also owns a house, vehicle, or items that the government wants to seize? This could be anybody from a spouse or partner, to a bank that owns the mortgage on a house. If someone shares ownership of the property and was not convicted of a crime, he or she may have the chance to defend against asset forfeiture in court.
Just because a convicted person may have used your property for illegal activity, you could show that the items in question were purchased with honest wages for a legal purpose. It will not be simple, but it is possible to go toe-to-toe with the government and assert your full rights.
If your case is underway, and you have been notified that the state or federal government is preparing to seize your property, you need to act now to fight against all of the penalties involved in your charge. If you are the owner of property that is being threatened with asset forfeiture, you need to know what your options are for fighting this seizure.
It takes a knowledgeable, skilled advocate to successfully navigate all the laws involved, and even then, the odds might be against you. At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, beating the odds is our business. No case is too tough for our legal team to handle.
Speak with our Oakland criminal defense lawyer today to set up your free evaluation!