Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorney and Lawyer for Asset Forfeiture Defense
Asset Forfeiture occurs when the arresting authorities arrest a person usually for drug violations. There are provisions for forfeiting vehicles in certain instances in DUIs. Usually the arresting officer will take possession of the property, such as cash or a vehicle. For items too large to take possession of, such as houses, the authorities will sometimes cordon off the property and force out the occupants. In any instance, it is important to understand that the criminal charge is a separate matter from the forfeiture. The officer will normally give a receipt for the property and the receipt normally contains a notice. The owner is legally provided only a limited amount of time to contest the forfeiture in court. The contest is normally done by a petition. If not timely filed, the forfeiture can become final only because of untimeliness. In that instance a person could lose property even though he is later found not guilty of the crime. A forfeiture proceeding is civil and the criminal charge is handled in criminal courts. Therefore if you are involved in a forfeiture matter, you generally have 2 matters to deal with, the civil forfeiture and the criminal charge.
It is critical that a trained and competent attorney be retained in order to go to the scene and take photographs, interview witnesses, gather evidence, conduct tests, and conduct other important actions, all of which could play a vital role in securing the release of your property. Early defense work cannot be underestimated.
Possible defenses against an Asset Forfeiture charges can include proof that the property was not involved in the alleged criminal activity, innocent co-owner’s property rights, insufficient evidence, and factually proving innocence. Anything you say can be used against you in court. Do not discuss the matter with any person until you’ve talked to the Law Offices of Attorney John R. Reeves, P.C., an informed Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorney and Lawyer for Asset Forfeiture Defense.
Please contact us to arrange for a confidential consultation with a Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorney and Lawyer for Asset Forfeiture Defense.