Who We Are and What We Do
Apart from facing criminal and civil penalties, if you’re merely suspected of or convicted of an offense, you might be forced to forfeit given assets. Per federal and state laws, government bodies are allowed to seize any property they believe was obtained through criminal activity, used to commit an offense, purchased with proceeds from the commission of an offense, or are related to the commission of a crime. Here, the government files a lawsuit against your property.
However, even though the law allows government agencies to seize people’s properties, persons facing possible asset forfeiture have rights. You could fight to keep your assets with the help of an asset forfeiture defense lawyer.
Asset Forfeiture Attorney is a law firm helping people receive seized assets and forfeited property for criminal and civil cases. We are very proficient in what we do and regularly successfully represent cases throughout California and Nationwide. We’re mindful that most people who seek help with asset forfeiture defense have lost all or some of their assets. Therefore, we handle asset forfeiture-related cases on a contingency basis, so there’s no cost to any of our clients unless we win the case. Call us at 888-571-5590 for a consultation about your case.
Why Hire Us
Note that you don’t have to be criminally convicted or even criminally charged for the government to seize your property. There also doesn’t have to be a substantial connection between your unlawful activity and the property facing seizure. This is the more reason you should have an experienced asset forfeiture defense lawyer by your side to understand why your property has to be seized even though it hasn’t been proven that you’re guilty.
Additionally, considering the tough battle and confusing legal framework under California and federal forfeiture law, partnering with a skilled asset forfeiture lawyer is critical. Here is what sets us apart from other law firms and why we should be your number one choice when looking to retain an asset forfeiture lawyer.
Experience — The asset forfeiture topic is intricate and includes both criminal and civil facets. We are experienced lawyers with a background both in criminal and civil defense. Only a few lawyers in the state or nationwide are experienced in both.
Relationships — We have established excellent working relationships with United States lawyers across the U.S and understand how the system operates.
Results — We have a track record of recovering assets or money in more than 80 percent of cases.
Price — We work on a contingency fee basis, whereby our fee comes from the cash you’ll be awarded once we win your case. In other words, you won’t pay any fees upfront. You’ll only pay if and when we win.
Teamwork Approach — We’re a dedicated team of attorneys who work together to obtain the outcome you want.
Passion — We’re passionate about defending clients whose assets/money has been taken away by the government. Generally, you need not be guilty for the law enforcement to seize your property. All the police require is a suspicion that you may be guilty. This is shameful, and our lawyers are here to fight for you and help you regain your assets.
Reputation — Our lawyers have a remarkable reputation. There are exceptional testimonials about us on Google or Yelp reviews.
Expertise — During forfeiture proceedings, it’s critical to respond as soon as possible. Most people don’t know how crucial it is to file court documents correctly. If you miss a deadline or don’t do the paperwork appropriately, it could hurt your case. If you retain one of our attorneys, you can rest assured that we will do everything promptly and in a way that represents your best interests.
Convenience — We are available 24 hours of the day, seven days of the week, and 365 days of the year, meaning you’ll never miss talking to the lawyer assigned to your case, whether it’s during the day, at night, on weekends, or during holidays. If you have any emergency, just reach out to us, and we’ll provide you with personalized service.
Education — We are highly educated lawyers and knowledgeable on matters of California and federal asset forfeiture laws. Our lead attorney, Jacek Lentz, graduated from UC Hastings Law School, ranked top 20 in the National Law Journal. Most importantly, UC Hastings has the strongest alumni of any school in California other than USC.
California Asset Forfeiture Laws
When you’re arrested, it isn’t unusual for law enforcement officers to seize your assets. Whereas the police and other government agencies could confiscate your property for several reasons, one most prevalent is asset forfeiture.
Per the California State asset forfeiture statute, the government isn’t required to seize your property without probable cause connecting you or the assets to an offense. Thus, the government bears the burden of proof to substantiate its case. When you have an experienced asset forfeiture attorney working with you, you may challenge the government’s case and have all or some of your assets returned to you.
What’s Asset Forfeiture?
Asset forfeiture refers to the legal process by which the federal or state government initially confiscates private assets from citizens then permanently possesses them. Anything can be seized in forfeiture, provided the government believes it was involved in the commission of an offense. The particular properties seized are based on the kind of criminal act you committed and the exact situation. Common kinds of assets seized in asset forfeiture are:
Bank accounts, cash, securities, or any other financial instrument.
Vehicle, aircraft, and boats.
Real estates, such as buildings or land.
Electronic devices like computers and cell phones.
Any other personal property.
Several state and federal statutes trigger property forfeiture. These laws permit government agencies to confiscate property by substantiating that the property is linked to unlawful activity. The link between the unlawful activity and the property doesn’t need to be substantial— the government only needs to show that it has probable cause to believe the unlawful activity and the property have a connection. Unfortunately, the government usually gains the assets merely by doing little or nothing if the real owners don’t act fast by retaining an expert asset forfeiture lawyer and claiming their right to the property.
The Abuse of Asset Forfeiture Law
Both the federal and California governments use a wide range of laws to seize real and personal property from citizens then permanently possess them. The most prevalent misconception is the property seizure and forfeiture impact only people accused of criminal conduct. This isn’t true. Often, individuals who haven’t been placed under arrest, leave alone charged for criminal offenses, have been compelled to lose their assets to federal and state agents.
Asset forfeiture statutes often legalize the confiscation of property from individuals who are entirely innocent of any crime or wrongdoing. Since government agents will, without a doubt, use any possible trick against you to seize your property, you want to contact an experienced, aggressive, and devoted asset forfeiture lawyer immediately to help you.
As a premier forfeiture defense law firm in California and nationwide, we understand the tricks used in federal and state asset forfeiture. Applying our expert asset forfeiture knowledge and experience, we can quickly spot weak areas in the government’s case and use them to your advantage. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us as soon as your assets have been confiscated.
Federal forfeiture statutes alone comprise hundreds of provisions and several forfeiture categories related to specific offenses such as marijuana cultivation, money laundering, pornography, forgery, tax evasion, and drug-related crimes like drug trafficking. In California, just like the federal statute, the law allows the state government to seize your assets under laws like The California Control of Profits of Organized Crime (PC 186) and Health and Safety Code (HSC) 11470(e).
How We Can Help You
We concentrate on protecting your property while defending you on civil or criminal charges in federal and state courts. The asset forfeiture procedure generally commences with the seizure of property, whether entirely or partially. This could happen without or with a warrant, based on the situation.
We’ll work diligently to contest the government’s process of seizing the assets. We help by finding a way to distance the property from the alleged criminal activity, investigating constitutional violations, refuting testimony, or applying any other techniques necessary to win your case. Our skillful asset forfeiture lawyers take all the necessary steps to ensure your constitutional rights are protected against serious assaults on your property and harassment by prosecutors and law enforcement agents. If your property has been seized or threatened either criminally or civilly, call us for help right away.
Immediate Defense to Protect Your Property Rights
At Asset Forfeiture Attorney, we stand with people facing asset forfeiture proceedings and civil forfeiture actions plus underlying criminal charges. Losing property without any compensation is intimidating for persons who aren’t familiar with the power of government agencies.
Since they aren’t knowledgeable of the nuances of police investigations, most property owners wrongly trust that they can talk their way out of a property seizure. Often, the owner sacrifices their assets by overlooking the need to seek legal advice.
An effective asset forfeiture defense strategy requires a skilled legal team that understands the complex and lengthy asset recovery and asset loss prevention process. Attention to detail and time is key for cases that involve property confiscation and asset forfeiture. Our law firm is recognized nationwide for expeditious and aggressive representation of clients’ interests.
Our asset forfeiture litigation representation has included cases involving criminal charges and those where civil confiscation actions were taken directly against assets, including real estate, motor vehicle, jewelry, cash, and investment and bank accounts.
Know About California Asset Forfeiture Guidelines
Asset forfeiture is a complex legal process. Whereas the government may confiscate your assets at will, there has to be due process for the property to be permanently forfeited. There are several guidelines the government must follow to respect your rights.
If the government wants to gain permanent possession of your property, it must issue you with a formal notice of forfeiture proceedings. The notice could be issued through a publication in the local newspaper, mail, or personal delivery. After receiving this notice, you’ll have 30 days to bring a claim. The claim triggers a court procedure and a trial by the jury to make an ultimate decision concerning the asset forfeiture.
Unlike a few other states, the burden of proof in California is on the prosecutors and the police. They must prove why your assets ought to be forfeited. Generally, the prosecution must show that the following is true:
The assets in question are associated with criminal activity. It could prove this in either of these ways:
The assets were used to perpetrate criminal activity.
The assets were derived from or were acquired as the proceeds of criminal activity.
Everyone with ownership interests in that property understood that it was being utilized to commit an offense and agreed to the use.
The above guidelines give you a chance to argue before a judge or jury that your assets shouldn’t be forfeited. And, of course, you stand the best chance of retaining your property if an asset forfeiture attorney knowledgeable about asset forfeiture statutes and procedures represents you. When you retain our services, you’ll have a committed legal advocate fighting to protect your rights and help regain the property you rightfully own.
Asset Forfeiture Claims Deadlines
If you have received an asset forfeiture notice, you only have a limited period to respond. Failure to respond on time can damage your capability to defend your legal rights in court and eventually win back your property. Different deadlines and procedures may apply based on the nature of the claim and the government agency from which it comes.
The deadlines of these claims are strictly imposed. If you’ve received a forfeiture notice, you might qualify to bring an asset recovery suit, but you want to act promptly. You also want to reach out to a lawyer before bringing the claim since bringing a careless suit might subject you to more criminal prosecution. Please contact us to know your options before the deadline expires.
As asset forfeiture defense lawyers, we have several areas of practice. Whereas a significant percentage of our clientele consists of civil asset forfeiture, our practice also represents clients facing criminal asset forfeiture, administrative forfeiture, DEA airport cash seizure, etc. We also conduct asset forfeiture settlement negotiations and appeals. Even if your particular case isn’t listed, we want to hear from you to determine if we would be a good fit for your needs. Please call us if you have any questions about our practice areas.
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Under civil forfeiture, you need not be criminally charged or convicted for your property to be seized and forfeited. Instead, the government will be taking action against the asset since it’ll be alleging that it’s associated with unlawful activities. Under this proceeding, it is usually up to you to show the property isn’t linked to criminal activity. Generally, it’s easy for the government to confiscate property through these proceedings since they don’t have to deal with a criminal case. This is the more reason you should entrust your case to an asset forfeiture lawyer. Retaining an experienced legal team like the one at Asset Forfeiture Attorney can significantly increase your likelihood of regaining your assets.
Criminal Asset Forfeiture
Under Criminal asset forfeiture, the government seizes the property of people who have been convicted of an offense if the property is connected to or a product of any criminal activity, unlike civil forfeiture where a conviction or criminal charge isn’t necessary. A primary concern for most people charged or convicted of an offense is the seizure of their hard-earned property. At Asset Forfeiture Attorney, we don’t let our clients lose assets without a fight. If your assets have been seized or are at risk of being confiscated due to a criminal charge/conviction, we can help.
Federal agencies such as the DEA, IRS, FBI, and ATF can forfeit your assets administratively, meaning without the court ever being involved. After their assets have been seized, most people just walk away without contesting the seizure. In these cases, the property is administratively seized by the federal government. Because agencies often attempt to forfeit assets administratively, you want to file a claim on time and hire a lawyer familiar with asset forfeiture laws if you wish to challenge the forfeiture of the assets. Contact us as soon as possible, and we’ll help you have your property back.
DEA Airport Cash Seizure
Every year, DEA (Drug Enforcement Agents) seize millions of dollars from persons departing from or arriving in the U.S. This seizure is based only on circumstantial evidence, i.e., on a mere suspicion that a large amount of money you have is for drug trafficking purposes. And even though these allegations are unsubstantiated, most people whose money is seized don’t make any move to have it back.
An estimated 95% of the cash seized is forfeited to the government since people don’t hire legal representation and fight for a refund. If you are a victim of the DEA cash seizure, you should act fast and reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. At Asset Forfeiture Attorney, we represent clients in currency seizures at the busiest airports in California, including the airports in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Oakland. We’re familiar with how the DEA operates and how we can tackle them. Call 888-571-5590 to discuss your case.
Asset Forfeiture Defense
At Asset Forfeiture Attorney, we will build a solid defense strategy that’ll help make the government lose its case against you. We will first evaluate your case’s specific facts to know what defenses we can argue and what not to argue. Reach out to us immediately after you receive the forfeiture notice, and we’ll start gathering proof right away. There are several defenses against an asset forfeiture case, including:
Evidence that the asset was bought with legitimate money
Proof that no offense was committed; thus, there’s no basis for the forfeiture
Evidence that the value of the forfeited asset is disproportionate to the crime
A third party innocent owner, meaning that the property owner wasn’t aware the property was unlawfully obtained.
Asset Forfeiture Appeals
If the government succeeds in forfeiting your assets, you’re entitled to appeal the decision. There are several guidelines you need to comply with if you are filing an appeal. You may not understand the language used in these guidelines; thus, you need a lawyer to help you out. Attorneys at Asset Forfeiture Attorney are ready to fight for you throughout the case.
If the government decides to forfeit your assets and you aren’t content with the decision, we’ll file an appeal and continue fighting to the end to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome. We’ll go over the case again to find out what details we missed that can be helpful in the appeal. Don’t lose hope yet when things don’t go as you expected. We won’t leave your side until we make it right.
Asset Forfeiture Settlement Negotiation
To have your property returned to you, you must navigate the intricate forfeiture procedures. Additionally, like virtually all legal proceedings, individuals have the chance to negotiate before the case proceeding to trial. Some people will propose settling the case and permitting the government to retain some of their assets to avoid going to trial and the expenses that come with it. Even in a situation where you know you didn’t commit any crime, you may find yourself negotiating with the government. The process for forfeiture settlement negotiation raises various questions. At Asset Forfeiture Attorney, we have the experience to guide you throughout the negotiation process and help you answer these questions. We’ll contest the confiscation and negotiate a settlement that’ll have you regain your property. We’ve seen many people agree to unfair offers, but we’ve negotiated on our clients’ behalf on several occasions and managed to obtain a just settlement successfully.
Contact a Competent Asset Forfeiture Defense Attorney Near Me
Whereas government agencies will make it appear like they have every right to seize your property since you, your household member, or your loved one is accused of an offense, don’t listen. Whether the connection between the criminal activity and the property in question is strong enough is for the court to decide. Contact Asset Forfeiture Attorney law firm today at 888-571-5590 to schedule a complimentary consultation and case evaluation. We serve clients throughout California and nationwide facing asset forfeiture.