Plantation Forfeiture Attorney
Broward County Foreiture Attorney
Forfeiture is the process by which the government seizes assets that were the proceeds of or used in the commission of a crime. It can be used by both the state and federal government, and can occur as a standalone civil action or can be part of the penalties imposed upon the conclusion of a criminal case. The federal laws that authorize forfeiture include the RICO Act as well as the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act allows authorities to seize property on the state level.
When the government forces you to forfeit money or property, officials can then sell the property to make a profit without ever providing any compensation to you. Though forfeiture laws are intended to deter crime, many people have their property wrongfully seized. If you receive notice that your property has been seized by the government, you should always contact an experienced Florida forfeiture defense attorney as soon as possible.
Common Forfeiture Situations
Following the commission of certain criminal offenses, the law authorizes the government to seize assets and property including motor vehicles, boats, cash, and real property that they believe was involved in the crime or purchased with proceeds from a crime. The following are some common examples of forfeiture actions:
- Seizing a car or other vehicle used to conduct a drug deal;
- Taking jewelry or other items purchased with embezzled funds; and
- Seizing a home used to grow marijuana or manufacture other controlled substances.
Defending Asset Forfeiture
After your property is seized, you should receive notice from the government of the forfeiture. Once you receive notice, swift action is necessary to protect your rights and reclaim your property. In state forfeitures, you only have 15 days to request a hearing and federal laws only allow you 10 days. For this reason, you should always contact a forfeiture defense attorney as soon as you receive notice.
An attorney will request an adversarial preliminary hearing in order to combat the forfeiture. There are several arguments a defense lawyer can make that your property should not have been forfeited. Attorneys can also protect “innocent owners” who were forced to forfeit property though they were never involved in a crime.
Additionally, the suspected underlying criminal offense must be sufficiently severe in order for any assets to be seized. However, there are many instances in which authorities wrongfully claim assets following a minor offense. An example of this would be police finding what they believed to be traces of a controlled substance during a traffic stop and then seizing the car that the suspect was driving.
Contact an Experienced Plantation Forfeiture Defense Attorney for Assistance
If the state or federal government is attempting to seize your property, you should never delay in contacting an experienced forfeiture defense attorney. Carl H. Lida is highly experienced in handling forfeiture cases on the state and federal levels, and will work to make sure your property ownership rights are protected. If you have received notice of a forfeiture, contact our office today at 954-472-5001 for help.