When it comes to understanding the penal code, the task can often be a daunting one. For one, the letter of the law can be pretty complicated, even confusing to sift through. For another, and on a related note, the laws were written not for the average reader, but rather for lawyers with years of experience at interpreting the law and otherwise doing their jobs. It’s much easier to get through this kind of documentation when you break the language down and look at the intent behind the words as opposed to the actual words that are used. So in this post, we’re going to take a look at the charge of asset forfeiture, explore some of the definitions and punishments, and look at some defenses that you can use in your favor.
When it comes to possible charges that you can face, asset forfeiture is one that’s actually commonly used against people to take their property if that property was thought to have been used in the commission of a crime, or else was gotten as a result of criminal activity. When assets are forfeited, this is done through a lawsuit that the government issues against the property as opposed to the owner of that property, which basically means that even if the owner isn’t convicted and hasn’t committed a crime, the property in question can still be taken from them. Asset forfeiture is most likely to take place in instances of drug offenses, and also commonly applies to instances of organized crime. As we stated before, you can have your property seized even if you have not been convicted of a crime. Also, this charge is considered as a civil charge as opposed to a criminal one. What this means is that, while in a criminal case you can be appointed an attorney if you’re not able to afford one yourself, in a civil matter you don’t have to be granted this. This is considered a problematic charge, as it’s commonly used as a for profit charge for law enforcement agencies as opposed to one that’s always done for legitimate reasons. In terms of assets involved, this could be a firearm involved in assault with a deadly firearm, equipment used to commit a computer crime, animals in the case of animal abuse, but the most common property to be forfeited is that which was involved in some kind of drug charge.
There are certain procedures that need to be followed when it comes to asset forfeiture, and if these procedures aren’t followed then you have the ability to file a claim and potentially stop any proceedings when it comes to the forfeiture of your assets. But again, as with anything else that you might be facing, it’s important that you handle this matter as soon as possible so as not to potentially make matters worse down the line. And be sure to get in touch with the right counsel to make sure your rights are protected.
As you can see, it isn’t really that hard to figure out how the law actually works once you break it down into easy to digest portions as opposed to the fairly complicated legalese that you’ll find when you take a look at the actual letter of the law. There are plenty of charges to look at, but this one is quite different considering it can often be considered a civil matter, so that makes it even more important to get a handle on what you’ll be facing when it comes to this particular charge.