Making Sense of Criminal Asset Forfeiture
Criminal asset forfeiture is one of the most difficult to understand aspects of the law. It is also one of the most consequential. That is why it is so important for defendants to understand exactly what is at stake. If you are facing criminal asset forfeiture, be sure to keep reading.
What is Criminal Asset Forfeiture?
This process allows law enforcement officials to seize any asset they believe to have been connected to the commission of a crime. This can include a car, a home, money, or other valuable items. What is also important to realize is that criminal asset forfeiture is possible even if you are not charged with a crime.
Why is this Legal?
The original intent of the law was to give law enforcement agencies a way to fight against powerful organized crime rings. The logic was that if the members were not just sent to jail but their property was also seized they would have a much harder time reestablishing their power. Proceeds from selling the assets could also be used to support law enforcement efforts.
Why do Innocent People Get Hurt?
The law had noble intentions originally. Unfortunately, some law enforcement agencies look at criminal asset forfeiture as a source of easy money. As a result, they target innocent people and seize assets that have no connection to a crime of any kind. This kind of activity is undeniably questionable and objectionable. Unfortunately, it happens a lot.
Can I Get My Assets Back?
There are ways to reverse the effects of criminal asset forfeiture. But the process is not quick or easy. There is also a large burden of proof placed on the defendant, even if that defendant has been found innocent of a crime. In cases where people have contested the forfeiture of assets, the success rate is alarmingly low.
If you have been the victim of criminal asset forfeiture, it is important to contact an attorney fast. If you wait too long, it may be entirely impossible to get your property back. Without delay, contact the Law Office of John E. MacDonald by calling 401.421.1440.