Asset Forfeiture: An Overview
One of the federal government’s most powerful tools is its ability to seize assets in connection with the criminal prosecution of a defendant. The government may also seize property that is allegedly involved in a crime. Most asset forfeiture cases are uncontested, but those persons who are affected have the right to file a claim against the seizure. Criminal forfeitures can be challenged through trial proceedings.
As seasoned federal defense attorneys, we at Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law, understand how important it is to protect your property and assets from forfeiture. Our team can analyze the circumstances surrounding the seizure – and any related criminal charges – to determine how to best counteract the government’s efforts.
There Are Many Types Of Forfeiture Under Federal Law
There are three types of forfeiture that apply under federal law:
- Criminal forfeiture, which is brought as part of a criminal case against a defendant. This may apply to property allegedly used or derived from the crime.
- Civil judicial forfeiture, which allows law enforcement to seize property allegedly involved in a crime. It does not require a criminal conviction and is filed against the property itself, not the property owner or defendant.
- Administrative forfeiture, which typically involves the uncontested forfeiture of property valued at $500,000 or less and cannot apply to homes or other real property. If such proceedings are contested, the federal government is required to pursue civil or criminal forfeiture proceedings.
Property that has been seized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be managed by the United States Marshal Service. Seized assets are sold, and the proceeds are used to support law enforcement and serve communities. Some proceeds of property forfeiture are used to pay victims back for losses, through the victim compensation program, which has returned more than $7 billion to victims.
Protect Your Assets From Forfeiture
If your assets are at risk of being seized by the government, you need to move quickly. Exercise your right to protect your property and involve a seasoned federal lawyer at Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law. These proceedings are complex and involve facing off against the federal government, but we are no stranger to this type of situation.
We can deal with asset seizure in relation to any type of state or federal crime, such as:
- Drug trafficking
- Money laundering
- Fraud (Medicare, mortgage, insurance, etc.)
- RICO violations
- Tax evasion
Our Miami asset forfeiture lawyers can also handle claims independent of a criminal case. Regardless of your needs and the circumstances at hand, we are confident in our ability to properly advise you and protect your interests.