Articles Tagged with Money seizure

Forfeiture cases are pursued by city prosecutors, county prosecutors, federal prosecutors, and/or United States Customs depending upon the circumstances. Forfeiture laws allow the government to seize and keep businesses, cash, cars, guns, homes, jewelry, and other property that it believes is related to criminal activity or that is a public nuisance. US Customs can seize and keep property that was not properly declared or otherwise not lawfully brought into the United States. Forfeiture is a multimillion dollar industry for local, State, and Federal government and police departments. Local police agencies boast about using money and property seized and forfeited to purchase police cars and police equipment, hire additional officers, and to upgrade law enforcement facilities. Hence, due to its profitability, the seizure of assets by law enforcement and Prosecutors is handled in a consistent and aggressive manner.  In fact, there are usually specially assigned State and Federal Prosecutors which only handle forfeiture actions. The forfeiture laws, naturally, are a deck stacked in favor of the government and against property owners – even the innocent owner of property who unknowingly allows his or her property to be used in the course of a crime is subject to losing his or her property. In some cases, property can be seized, kept, and/or destroyed without even a Court order.

Fortunately, there are due process rights afforded to persons that suffer a forfeiture of assets, cash, and/or property. Even though forfeiture claims involve by and large civil litigation, the Michigan and/or United States Constitution provides individuals and businesses rights to be represented by an attorney, to confront witnesses, to present a defense, and the right to trial, which are critical and vital rights in the defense against a forfeiture action. Not all seizures are justified or legal, and there are remedies to such unlawful seizures which can be pursued.

The cost of litigation a forfeiture claim will sometimes lead a prosecution to abandon, compromise, or settle their claim to some or all of the seized property. If you do not contest the forfeiture there is a profit and not a loss to the government and the return of your property is unlikely. Some forfeiture actions involve property of small or little value, and you have to determine whether the effort in attempting to recover the property is worth the legal and personal cost. However, whenever a large forfeiture occurs it is important to immediately hire an attorney to pursue the return of your property through negotiation or trial.

Contact Information