West Palm Beach Asset Forfeiture Lawyer
When police believe that property or assets are being used in criminal activity, they can seize the property or assets as a means of depriving those involved in the illegal activity. Asset forfeiture is a tool used by the local, state, and federal government. The FBI lists asset forfeiture as a tool for punishing criminals, deterring illegal activity, disrupting criminal organizations, removing tools of the trade from criminals, returning assets to victims, and protecting communities. Unfortunately, this power can sometimes be abused, whether through an illegal search and seizure or an innocent victim being mistaken as a criminal. Whatever your particular case may be, it is important to seek assistance from a qualified West Palm Beach asset forfeiture lawyer after items have been confiscated so that you can create a strong legal defense.
Items that Can Be Confiscated in an Asset Forfeiture Case
- Proceeds—If the criminal enterprise has spent money it earned illegally on property or assets, those possessions can be taken. An example would be a boat purchased with illicit drug money.
- Facilitating property—This is any property that is used in committing the crime or concealing the crime. This could include cell phones, computers, weapons, and more.
- Property involved in—This is any property that is part of the crime itself, such as money in a money laundering case.
Florida’s Contraband Forfeiture Act outlines specific contraband that can be taken depending on the criminal activity, such as any equipment that was being used, attempted to be used, or intended to be used in the violation of state beverage or tobacco laws.
Creating a Strong Defense Against Asset Forfeiture
Florida’s Contraband Forfeiture Act and federal laws must be adhered to during asset forfeiture. One defense is to provide evidence that those laws were broken in order to obtain the property. For instance, a police officer cannot pull a driver over on the road without reason. That means if a police officer is suspicious of a driver and pulls them over under the pretense of a broken headlight, anything they seize will have been illegally obtained if it can be shown that both headlights were in working order at the time of the event. Another defense is to prove that the owner of the property was not tied to any criminal behavior. Even if there has been criminal activity, it may still be possible to prove that the property in question was not a part of committing the crime, did not help facilitate the crime, and was not purchased from the crime’s proceeds.
Contact a West Palm Beach Asset Forfeiture Attorney Today
Having property taken away from you is no small inconvenience. Whether it is a cell phone, vehicle, house, or money, losing your assets can impact your future and your family for a long time to come. If law enforcement has seized property from you, it is time to talk with a knowledgeable West Palm Beach asset forfeiture attorney who can help you defend your rights. Contact William Wallshein at 561-533-1221 to schedule a free consultation today.