If the police, or government, suspect that you are involved in criminal activity, they may seize your assets. You do not need to be formally charged with a crime for your assets to be forfeited to authorities. To claim your assets, authorities only need to show that a “preponderance of evidence” indicates that the seized items were directly involved in illegal activity or gained due to illegal activity. Lee & Lee, PS, understands the vulnerability of your situation and can unravel the complexities of your case and reclaim your property.
Understanding Civil Asset Forfeiture
Unlike criminal forfeiture that requires a conviction, civil asset forfeiture occurs when authorities merely suspect involvement in drug trafficking or organized crime. They may seize either physical property or cash.
Oddly, charges are brought against the property itself and not the owner of the property. This typically strips individuals of their right to legal counsel in forfeiture proceedings. However, you are granted an attorney if your primary home was taken.
What Can You Do To Reclaim Assets?
The police, or government agency, must provide you with notice of the forfeiture. Exact procedure varies depending upon the particulars of your case. Once you receive notice, you have a limited time frame in which to file a recovery claim. If you fail to act before the deadline passes, you may lose any chance of recovery. Assets are typically sold at auction after a specified length of time. It is important to discuss your case with a defense attorney as soon as possible to formulate a strong case for asset retrieval. Our attorneys will carefully evaluate all circumstances surrounding your asset seizure and examine opportunities to recover property on your behalf.
Contact Us For Assertive Representation
Civil asset forfeiture can be overwhelming, and you may not know what to do if your property is seized. Call Lee & Lee, PS, at (206) 458-6528 to secure the assertive legal representation that you need to defend your rights. You may also contact our Washington lawyers online.