If you are facing a legal issue of any kind, keep in that United States Attorneys and your local state attorneys may choose to aggressively attempt to force you to forfeit your accumulated assets during the legal process and as it continues. They want to take the money you’ve worked hard to earn that they believe may have earned by illegal means. Doing so can have severe consequences. If they take what you’ve earned this can make it hard for you to afford a good legal defense. Many attorneys working for the state and national government are determined to use all legal means to take away your assets. This is why you need to know what they are planning, what laws apply to you and how best to fight off such issues. You have rights in this matter.
It is imperative to keep in mind that timing can affect all that happens when it comes to assets in your case. All prosecutors are required by law to meet certain deadlines. Federal law requires all government officials to provide notice to the parties of their intended desire to seize any assets in no more than sixty days from the intend to carry out this process. If this procedure is not followed according to these rules, it is possible to get this dismissed. Keep in mind this process can happen very quickly. If you do not act fast, you might find your assets are lost to the federal government in as little as thirty days from start to finish. This is one of many reasons why it is imperative to act as quickly as possible once this process is in place. Otherwise, it may be really hard if not impossible to get your assets back from the government.
The Basis to Challenge
While the government has certain rights, defendants also have certain rights. You have the right to challenge their actions. There are many ways to have the government agree to give back your property or head off their plans to seize in the first place. For example, you can show that you are what is known as the innocent owner. This means you can show you owned the property. It also means you can show you did not know someone else was using this property for illegal purposes. Keep in mind that, unlike other courts, you will not be assumed innocent before you begin. You are the one who needs to prove this and meet a certain standard of proof before you can get the government to agree to return your assets. This may take some time and effort.
There are others to indicate that you have the legal right to have your items returned or even head off this process before they step foot in your property. All deadlines need to be followed to the letter. If the government fails to provide you with proper notice they can be compelled to hand your items over immediately. All deadlines are tight. If a piece of paper was not filed at the correct time, a single motion from an attorney can be at your side to get this issue resolved in your favor immediately.
All searches that any government officials must be conducted in accordance with established legal procedures. You have fourth amendment rights. These rights include the right to avoid an illegal search and seizure of your property. If you fourth amendment rights have been violated, you have the right to protest legally. They need to have what is known as a probable cause or a reason to search for items in the first place. These are not the only laws that may apply to you and help you retain your property or get it back.
Fines must be reasonable under existing laws. This means the government cannot impose excessive fines that are disproportionate in comparison to the alleged offense. This is the eighth amendment to the constitution. If you are facing an asset forfeiture case, government officials must take care to avoid imposing fines that are too high when compared to the actual case. In practice, this means the government is unable to impose fines on you that are considered too high. If you don’t have a lawyer on your side, representing you, the government may overreach in their zealousness – and force you to file bankruptcy – out of sheer financial burden.
Certain accounts may also be exempt from asset forfeiture. If you have a certain type of bank account, the government cannot take them under law. Certain laws can also apply in a given district. If you are facing misdemeanor offenses in New York State, for example, the government cannot take your property for so petty a crime. In all instances, it is helpful to have qualified legal counsel at your side. They can help determine what you need to get done to get back your assets or avoid this issue at all.
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