Asset Forfeiture: When Your Property is Seized
Government agents often seize your property without probable cause and start forfeiture proceedings on the chance that either you do not have the money to hire a lawyer to get your property back (because they took everything) or they assume you are concerned that the government will investigate you further if you challenge the seizure of your assets.
Don’t let the government take your property away from you that way. Do not let them intimidate you.
We will advise you about the (often remote) possibility of further government investigation if you challenge your property seizure.
IMPORTANT: If you receive a written notice of seizure or notice of forfeiture proceedings, you may have to act quickly. The notices generally give you 30 days to file a written claim with the seizing agency.
DO NOT DELAY! If the 30 days pass without a claim being filed, then your property will be forfeited. IF YOU DELAY, YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE NO RECOURSE ONCE YOUR PROPERTY IS DECLARED FORFEITED BY THE AGENCY WHICH COMMENCED THE ACTION.
IMPORTANT: Seek legal advice before you even consider filing a “Petition for Remission or Mitigation” or “Petition for Administrative Relief” (one of the choices given to you in the forfeiture notice) instead of a claim. If you file only the Petition and not a claim, the seizing agency decides whether it should forfeit your property. Obviously, it is unlikely the law enforcement agency will rule in your favor.
Instead, if you want a judge or jury to decide your case in court, you must file a claim. One of our associates was formerly the Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Section of the United States Attorneys Office for the Central District. Contact our firm so we can review the facts of your case with you today.
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