One of the most powerful weapons the government has against the people in general is asset forfeiture. It can be used against anyone, regardless of whether or not they have committed a crime. If the government suspects a piece of property was used during the commission of a crime or was received as a result of a criminal act, they can send prosecutors and local law enforcement to seize the property. Cars, money, houses, land, boats and other type of physical property is allowed to be seized.
When the government files an asset forfeiture proceeding, it is against property that is owned by a person, not the person himself or herself. A person's guilt or innocence does not need to be proven before the government can confiscate the property. All the government needs is the possible belief that ownership of the property was gained through some sort of illegal activity. Attorney Jacek W. Lentz and his proficient staff routinely defends clients who have lost their property or are trying to protect it from government seizure. They deal with cases all over Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions within close proximity of the area.
Criminal forfeiture cases are extremely rare, in part because a criminal conviction is necessary to proceed. In these cases, prosecutors often bring lawsuits that fall under civil law.
Criminal forfeiture requires:
A criminal forfeiture requires a criminal conviction and the proof that property seized was gained through illegal activity.
Civil forfeiture requires:
Civil forfeiture lawsuits are filed against the property, not its owners. There is no need for a criminal conviction. In the majority of cases, there may not even be any criminal charges filed against the owner of the property. The only requirement needed to give the government the right to seize a person's property is the probability that the property was gained through illegal means. The majority of all cases of this type are federal in nature. The forfeiture statutes of the state of California are not the same as the federal laws and offer more protection to the property owners.
United States citizens are unaware of the power and control the government has over its citizens. The staff of the Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz has worked diligently to protect the rights and property of the individuals who live in and around Los Angeles County.
By contacting the Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz, you can begin the process of protecting your property from unlawful seizure by state and federal officials. If you fear you may be the target of an asset forfeiture case, call us today at 888-536-8948.