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Forfeiture

Dealing with a Forfeiture in Arizona

Property Seized by Police as Forfeiture

As unfair as it may sound, the government can confiscate property under criminal forfeiture or civil forfeiture. Civil forfeiture is to seize property used in criminal activity, although charges have not been filed. When civil forfeiture is executed, the property owner loses all right, title and interest in the property to the government. Property that can be confiscated under these rules include:

  • Contraband
  • Proceeds gained as part of illegal activity
  • Tools or instruments used to commit crime

Civil forfeiture is based upon the basic establishment of probable cause that the property was used to commit a crime. When such an action is brought against you for your property, the time to contest the forfeiture is limited. Property may be seized through execution of a search warrant, whether there are criminal charges or convictions, or not.

Since 1985, over $7 billion dollars in property has been forfeited to the federal government. State governments also seize property for cases, with Arizona being frequently and heavily criticized in the media for having very aggressive forfeiture laws.

Having an experienced Arizona forfeiture attorney on your side will possibly enable you to gain the return of your property. The risk involved includes the possibility of having to pay attorney fees for the government, in addition to other costs, should you lose your case. (more…)

Civil Forfeiture Cases and Defenses

Civil forfeiture, also called civil seizure, or civil judicial forfeiture, is a controversial legal process in the United States in which law enforcement officers take assets from people suspected of being involved in a crime or some sort of illegal activity. The problem with forfeiture cases is that the person suspected of being involved with a crime or illegal activity will not be necessarily charged with a crime or wrongdoing.

Civil forfeiture is a controversial legal process. Sometimes, the law enforcement officers will simply threaten to seize property, or anything of value, such as gold, cash, real estate, a boat or a house. The actual act of seizure itself also falls under forfeiture if the officers suspect that it was being used in a crime. Those in favor of civil forfeiture see it as a powerful tool to thwart criminal activities and organizations. However, critics argue that the act itself leads to corruption and misbehavior by the law enforcement. There is an ongoing debate as to whether the overall benefits of forfeiture outweigh the drawbacks. (more…)

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