Criminal forfeiture is an action brought as part of the criminal prosecution. The government actually charges the property used or derived from the crime along with the defendant. If the jury finds the property forfeitable, the court issues an Order of Forfeiture.
Under federal law, there are two reasons that assets can be forfeited: the assets, or property purchased with those assets, are the proceeds of a crime or the assets were the instrumentalities of a crime, meaning that they were used to commit a crime. Many different types of property fit this description, including real estate, houses, cars, computers, boats and personal items.
The action is taken against the person accused of a crime, including the ones listed below:
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
- Tax evasion
- Money laundering
- Violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)
- Violations of RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)
If asset forfeiture is an issue in your case or the case of a loved one, forfeiture is usually listed in the charging document. Families who see that asset forfeiture is an issue should take immediate action to protect their interests.
At Brown, PC, in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, metropolitan area, we prepare strong defenses for our clients in matters of criminal forfeiture. We work to prove that the property was not used to commit a crime or bought with crime money. For the court, this finding often leads to property being returned to its original owner.
In some circumstances, third parties may take action to assert their interests in the property. The court will hold an ancillary hearing in which third parties can raise their objections to asset forfeiture. Once the interests of third parties are addressed, courts will make their final orders.
Contact US court order of forfeiture lawyer Lawrence Brown to schedule a confidential consultation regarding criminal forfeiture. Call us at 888-870-0025 or contact us online to discuss our legal matter confidentially with an attorney.