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New York Asset Forfeiture Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may feel like everything is up for grabs – your house, your car, your livelihood, etc. New York law allows district attorneys to seize any kind of proceeds from a crime committed, such as cash or property, but they are not allowed to go after the tools used to commit the crime, except under special circumstances, such as drug cases.

In nearly every case, assets that are forfeited during this process are usually permanent, which means you’ll be unable to retrieve any of your possessions after the case is over. The prosecution will try to prove that your assets were used in the handling of the crime and that they need to be seized, although they may have a tough case in doing so. Still, if you’re facing seizure of property as the result of a crime, you should enlist the help of a trained lawyer that handles these types of cases.

Main Law Codes in Effect

criminal forfeiture is a notoriously sticky business, and at the time, New York law doesn’t really have a vehicle by which to prosecute and seize property. The main one in effect is Penal Law Article 480, which defines felony convictions under the stipulations outlined in article 220 of the subsequent penal law. Though this does allow for some seizure of property, this article requires the prosecution to prove forfeitability without a shadow of a doubt. The burden of proof is much higher than other codes, such as Article 13-A and other forfeiture laws.

New York’s Organized Crime Control Act (OCCA) of 1986 discusses both civil and criminal forfeitures during enterprise corruption crimes, and, like article 220, requires the prosecution to prove it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt (though the standard isn’t as high as article 220). OCCA also allows the courts to ignore the findings of a jury and use its own judgment and findings in determining guilt if it deems it necessary. Though OCCA has wide-ranging powers in this regard, it is still reliant on a grand jury to make the decision to pursue property forfeiture in every case (article 13-a has no such grand jury requirement). In addition, the court may also order the prosecution to hand over any kind of information relevant to the discovery of these findings, up to and including the minutes from the grand jury meetings.

Due to the numerous legalities and high standards of proof that is contingent on the prosecution to properly outline an asset forfeiture case, the relevant laws for these types of situations are hardly ever put into practice. Furthermore, the state prosecution lacks the teeth necessary to handle lower-level cases, since misdemeanor offenses are not subject to forfeiture of proceeds. Neither are the tools used in non-drug felony cases; those are out-of-bounds for the prosecution to pursue in forfeiture cases. This is in contrast to federal offenses, which provides for seizure of all of the above. For this reason, a district attorney will most likely ask for the assistance of the federal government in order to seize property related to misdemeanors and non-drug related felonies.

We Can Help!

Fortunately, you don’t have to go at this alone. Navigating an asset forfeiture case can be a tricky situation, and even more so if you’re unfamiliar with the laws pertaining to the matter at hand. Don’t forget the strict limitations placed on the prosecution in order to seize your property; if you’re charged with a crime that may involve asset forfeiture, it’s important to know your rights and the actual probability of losing your belongings.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
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Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
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Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

The most common situation is when a prosecutor includes a forfeiture of assets as part of a plea deal in return for not filing a civil lawsuit as it pertains to Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR) 13-A. No such general criminal forfeiture exists, which means a district attorney will be required, by law, to so file a separate civil lawsuit in the event that the defendant doesn’t take the plea.

Regardless, our experienced lawyers can help with any and all matters pertaining to asset forfeiture. With our help, you won’t have to feel like your property, or your rights, are at risk.

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Todd Spodek

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RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

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CLAIRE BANKS

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RAJESH BARUA

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CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

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