One of the tools the government uses to discourage criminal activity is asset forfeiture. This means, if you are being investigated or have been arrested, the federal government may seize assets or proceeds used to facilitate the commission of a crime. Basically, law enforcement can take your money, cars, and other property if it can show that you acquired them illegally, or used them in the furtherance of criminal activity.
Instead of throwing your hands up and saying goodbye to your assets or property, contact a federal defense attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your rights may have been violated. An experienced Miami asset forfeiture lawyer can quickly review your case and determine the best path forward.
The Federal government has numerous branches of law enforcement that can utilize asset forfeiture. Based on the type of crime you are charged with, your property and money may be seized by any of the following departments:
- The Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS)
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- United States Marshals Service (USMS)
If a federal entity seizes your assets, it is important that you cooperate with law enforcement officials and remain calm. Consult with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Types of asset forfeiture
Under federal law, there are three types of asset forfeiture:
- Criminal forfeiture — As the name implies, criminal forfeiture occurs when you are charged with a crime. The government may then seize property used or derived from the crime. You have the right to contest any seized assets through trial proceedings.
- Civil judicial asset forfeiture — Here, the government does not need a criminal conviction. Instead, it files an action against the property itself.
- Administrative forfeiture — Administrative forfeiture happens when property is seized but no defendant files a claim contesting the seizure.
When it comes to federal crime, the government moves swiftly to punish defendants. In many cases, this means seizing assets and property. If you are charged with a federal offense and have had property seized by the government, seek professional legal help.
Florida asset forfeiture attorney helps you fight federal charges
The Law Office of Nayib Hassan, P.A., has more than a decade of experience defending Florida residents accused of state and federal crimes.Call (305) 403-7323 or contact us online to speak with an experienced criminal law attorney today.