The Idea of Proceeds
Proceeds is a formal legal term all those facing this issue should understand. Proceeds are gains from what the law considered to be a crime. This includes many different kinds of holdings from a back account to any kind of personal property that you own. The state of New York may decide to take your jewelry, the land you own, stocks, your car and even the clothing you have in your closet. Under New York state laws, the government can also take items that have results from the decision to facilitate any kind of criminal activity. If something you own makes it easier for someone else to commit a crime, the government can consider that proceeds and take it from you.
New York Penal Law Article 480
All those who are facing this issue in New York state should be aware of the laws that apply to them personally. New York Penal Law Article 480 applies to all those who have been convicted of certain felonies. This article means that all such forfeitures must meet certain standards before they can be carried out. The same is true of what is known as the Organized Crime Control Act of 1986. Under both laws, the prosecution must be able to prove the case beyond the reasonable doubt standard. The court can set aide the determination of a grand jury and act independently as it sees fit. These are complicated laws that benefit from having someone at your side to sort them out and get the verdict you want. Keep in mind, these laws cannot be applied to you if you are facing a minor conviction such as a misdemeanor. In that case, the judge and court cannot seize many forms of your assets at all.
A prosecutor may agree to demand that you forfeit certain assets as part of your plea agreement when facing many different types of charges including drug charges. This is perfectly legal and occasionally a standard part of the plea process. At the same time, it can be quite cumbersome for local law enforcement officials to follow this law. This is why so many judges and prosecutors may choose to avoid these procedures in the first place. However, this plea is also subject to certain laws in New York state that all prosecutors need to follow. In general, there is no right to have criminal forfeiture. In that case, the prosecutor prosecuting the case must be willing to file a separate civil lawsuit. This can applied to criminal defendants in New York state who are not taking a plea. In New York state, unlike the federal courts, you cannot be asked to forfeit your assets like your real property if you are facing any form of what are known as non-drug-related legal felony offenses.
Keep in mind that the prosecutors in the state often have a large docket. As such, there can be little motivation to use what are essentially scarce resources on the filing of what is essentially a civil matter. While this is true, it is also true that prosecutors do choose to pursue this area of law. IF they do so in your case, it is important to have legal counsel on your side in New York. The bar for proof is high but it is not impossible to meet. Having skilled legal counsel at your side has many benefits as this process continues. It enables you to reduce the risk of such attempts in the first place and protects your existing fiscal assets.