Traditional American colonies rejected the practice of forfeiture laws because they were not an authentic American culture. The English law only became widespread in the 1970s, where every state adopted a version of the law. So what is civil forfeiture?
Civil forfeiture is a legal system that allows law enforcers to seize property they think is part of criminal activity. The exciting bit is that the owner need not be a criminal because the law considers the property the culprit because it enables crime. Police still use this law to seize everything they consider a threat, such as your home, car, valuables, bank accounts, seizure of cash, and other connected properties.
Is there a downside if the government believes it is right? Civil forfeiture is a double-edged sword because records of law enforcement bodies use it to generate revenue from innocent people.
How can you fight civil forfeiture laws by the state?
The worst thing you could do is fail to follow up because you do not know your constitutional rights or lack proper legal representation. It is essential to use an attorney who will combat these laws and have serious questions regarding fairness. Using an attorney will make the entire process a lot faster and easier because we can deal with all the waivers put in place by the law enforcement officers and avoid the costly and uphill battle of a pro se case.
Understanding the due process
The due process is the idea that one can challenge the government from taking your property. The government does not get legal ownership of the property simply because they have the right to seize it, which means you have an opportunity to challenge the claim and take back your property. We do this by inspecting the evidence in the case, presenting a solid defense, and questioning all the witnesses on your behalf so we can formulate a convincing case.
The Due Process will require that the government prove the property was ill-tended when in your possession because it was part of a crime. Read on to know what the step by step process of fighting a civil forfeiture looks like in court:
Steps of fighting a civil search and seizure
Notice of the seizure
The government will notify the owner within 60 days of the seizure and within 5 days for all interested parties at the property scene.
The second step is to open a short window that allows the parties to file a lawsuit with lawsuit after they seize the property, which is why you should involve the attorney as soon as possible. To dictate the relevant course of action, our firm will use this window to investigate all the case details, including the bank records, statements, and witness accounts.
The last steps involve getting into a negotiation, proceeding to trial, and then appealing, depending on the nature of the case.
Do you want to learn more about how we will handle your case? Call our international airport attorneys or civil asset forfeiture lawyers to book a personalized free consultation.
Civil Forfeiture Laws By State