Asset Forfeiture Attorney in Oakland CA
What Is Asset Forfeiture?
Forfeiture of assets occurs when the government, state, or another government entity confiscates money and property that are a result of the proceeds of a crime or property that has been used or involved in committing a crime. Depending on the circumstances, this can be done without the owner’s knowledge or consent and without a warrant.
It is a measure used by the United States government to deter crime, punish criminals, and generate funds for law enforcement operations.
The asset forfeiture process starts with the seizure of any assets related to the crime in question. An administrative or judicial process will then take place to determine if there is enough evidence to permanently seize the assets. Seized assets will be returned to the rightful owners if there is not enough evidence to justify their seizure.
The seized property may include cars, homes, and money. The government typically auctions these items and keeps the proceeds of their sale, but they are sometimes required to share these proceeds with other law enforcement agencies.
An experienced asset forfeiture attorney can help you get back your assets if they are taken away by the government. They can also help you fight any civil proceedings that may be filed against you.
What Is the Process for Forfeiting Assets?
The government or state must file a lawsuit against the owner to forfeit property. They must prove the following before acquiring the property:
- There was a direct connection between the property and criminal activity
- There is overwhelming evidence of the alleged crime.
Generally, California follows three steps in the forfeiture of assets. In order to take control of a property, agents must:
- Notify banks or brokers to hold accounts,
- Physically take possession of property like vehicles, jewelry, weapons, or money
- Place forfeiture notices against real property in order to prevent its mortgage or transfer.
A property that government agents take over can no longer be sold, used, or otherwise benefited from by the owner.
A forfeiture attorney might be able to provide advocacy so you can retain possession. They could also help with recovering assets like bank accounts and other property.
Common Causes for Asset Forfeiture in Oakland, CA?
In Oakland, CA, asset forfeiture typically arises under both California law and federal asset forfeiture laws. The common causes for such proceedings often involve allegations of illegal activity where property is used in the commission of a criminal act or acquired as a result of criminal conduct. Key causes include:
Drug Trafficking: One of the most frequent reasons for asset forfeiture, where real and personal property is seized, is believed to be involved in drug-related crimes.
Money Laundering and Organized Crime: Assets can be forfeited if they are found to be proceeds from organized criminal activities, including money laundering.
Tax Evasion: In cases of tax fraud or evasion, assets can be seized as part of the enforcement action.
Criminal Charges Related to Property: If real or personal property is used to facilitate a criminal charge like drug trafficking or is purchased with the proceeds of a crime, it becomes subject to forfeiture.
Asset forfeiture proceedings in Oakland often require the authorities to establish probable cause that the property is connected to illegal activity. However, the specific circumstances can vary, and each case may involve different aspects of California law and federal statutes.
What Are My Rights During An Asset Forfeiture Case in Oakland?
During asset forfeiture proceedings in Oakland, individuals have specific rights under California law and federal asset forfeiture laws. These rights include:
- Right to Legal Representation: Individuals have the right to be represented by an attorney. Law offices specializing in asset forfeiture can defend clients’ interests and challenge the forfeiture.
- Right to Notice: The law requires that individuals receive notice of the property seized and the reason for the seizure.
- Right to a Hearing: Individuals have the right to a court hearing where they can contest the asset forfeiture. The burden is often on the prosecuting authority to prove the connection between the property seized and the alleged criminal activity.
- Right to Challenge Probable Cause: Individuals can contest the basis of the seizure, particularly the existence of probable cause linking their property to criminal activities.
It is crucial for those involved in asset forfeiture cases in Oakland to be aware of these rights to ensure their interests are adequately protected and to challenge any forfeiture that may not be justified.
How Can an Attorney Help With Your Asset Forfeiture Case?
An attorney can help with asset forfeiture cases in a variety of ways. They can advise you on the best course of action to take and represent you in court.
There are many different types of attorneys who specialize in different areas of law. You must find an attorney who practices criminal law if your case is criminal. If your case is a civil matter, then you will need to find one with experience in civil asset forfeiture law.
Contact the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson for a free consultation.
Contact a Lawyer for Your Asset Forfeiture Case
Many people who have been charged with a crime have assets that the government can seize. This is called criminal asset forfeiture. If you are facing charges of this nature, you should contact a Criminal Lawyer in Oakland to help with your asset forfeiture case.
Reach out to the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson for your criminal and civil asset forfeiture cases.
Don’t let your assets be seized!
Have Rebecca on your side.
Asset Forfeiture FAQS
When law enforcement agents begin to confiscate your property, you have questions. Whether it involves civil asset forfeiture or criminal asset forfeiture cases, the following answers address some of the most frequently asked asset forfeiture questions.
What Is the Purpose of an Asset Forfeiture?
Asset forfeiture is the act of confiscating personal property, money, or other items from a person who has been arrested or accused of a crime. The property can be seized either before conviction or after a criminal trial. This is done in an effort to deter individuals from engaging in criminal behavior by removing the incentive for them to do so.
What Is an Example of Forfeiture?
Asset forfeiture is the process by which assets are seized by law enforcement and transferred to the government. This can happen when a person is convicted of a crime, but it also occurs in other circumstances.
If an individual is caught with illegal drugs, for example, they may be charged with possession and slapped with a fine. But if they cannot afford to pay the fine or have no means of making restitution to society, then their vehicle may be seized as an asset.
Plus, in a civil asset forfeiture, also referred to as civil forfeiture, actions could consist of taking personal property to cover the cost of court-ordered damages in a personal injury case. A civil asset forfeiture attorney may be able to help retain possession of your assets.
What Are the Two Types of Asset Forfeiture?
There are two types of asset forfeiture with civil and criminal. Civil asset forfeiture is when the government seizes a person’s property without a court order or criminal conviction. Criminal forfeiture is when property is seized as part of a criminal case against the owner, not just in relation to the crime.