Civil Asset Forfeiture Protecting Our Clients' Rights

Phoenix Civil & Criminal Forfeiture Attorney

What happens if you’re accused of a serious offense, such as mortgage fraud, drug distribution or health care fraud? Most people are aware these types of charges carry serious consequences that often include hefty fines and significant jail time, but did you know that if you are charged with these and other serious offenses, you could actually lose all of your property? The government, both state and federal, can confiscate your private property, including bank accounts, other financial assets, houses, vehicles and much more, leaving you with no way to pay for the representation you need to fight the charges in court. If you are wrongly accused, this can be a major problem. You need to be able to work with a Phoenix civil and criminal forfeiture attorney. It’s important to act quickly to ensure everything is done within the required time. The good news is they can often help you with your case, even if you don’t have the means to pay at the current time because all your assets have been seized.

What Can Be Seized and Why

First and foremost, it’s important to understand what property can be seized and why. In general, anything you own can be removed from your possession if you are accused of a crime that is associated with financial gains, such as drug distribution and white collar crimes. Your assets and other property is likely to be seized if the property or assets are allegedly obtained from the money that came in from committing said crime or if the property is suspected to have been used to commit the crime, such as a car to drive to and from locations or a home from which you did your business. Civil cases are often treated more lightly than criminal cases.

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Originally, civil asset forfeiture was created in order to stop major drug dealers and to remove the property they likely purchased with the gains they made in this area. However, as time has gone on, the government has begun using this process for other crimes that involve financial gain in order to discourage individuals from taking part in them. This means there are more cases where property is wrongfully seized. Arizona’s law requires the government to alert individuals about the forfeiture before it takes place. This grants individuals time to challenge the process, so they can hold onto their property and other assets. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t cover whether the state is allowed to hold onto the property during this process. This can create serious issues for those who will no longer have the financial means to hire an attorney.

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