We're a client oriented firm. It means providing the level best in service, possible, regardless of the time of day.
Experience means we've seen or handled virtually every type of criminal defense situation. It means you can trust us.
When you hire our firm, you always work directly with an attorney whose responsible for managing your case.
In our ongoing series of posts we’ve taken apart some of the complicated, even convoluted language that you’ll find in California’s penal code in order to make the law just a little bit more understandable and accessible, and to make it easier for you to mount a legal defense should you be facing any kind of legal trouble. To that end, in this post we’re going to explore the definitions, punishments, and even legal defenses involved when it comes to the charge of asset forfeiture in the state of California. We hope that by the end you’ll be more than knowledgeable on the charge and know just what to do should you find yourself in trouble with the law.
Definitions of Asset Forfeiture
You might think at first glance that asset forfeiture is like any other crime, with the punishment being jail time and maybe even a fine. But asset forfeiture is a little bit different. When it comes to this charge, you can end up losing your property even if you’re innocent or haven’t even been charged with a crime. What’s more, asset forfeiture isn’t even considered an actual criminal penalty, and is instead ruled as more of a civil charge. The bad news is that this means you have fewer protections and rights when it comes to an asset forfeiture. The courts don’t even need to appoint an attorney for you if you can’t afford one for yourself. So, with all of that being said, let’s get into the actual punishments for asset forfeiture.
Punishments for Asset Forfeiture
Asset forfeiture is a charge that’s very often abused by law enforcement, as a portion of the profit goes directly into the coffers of the law enforcement agency in question. This can be any type of property, so long as that property is said to have been involved in the commission of a crime. This can include weapons, vehicle, even property of different types. Once an asset forfeiture case goes to trial, the prosecution has to prove that the property was either used during or derived from a crime, and so meets the definition of asset forfeiture, and that all of the owners of the property consented to it being used to break the law in some fashion. And again, since this is a profitable endeavor for law enforcement, this is a law that is very often abused.
Defenses of Asset Forfeiture
Now that we’ve figured out what asset forfeiture is and talked a little bit about the punishments involved for this charge, let’s get into defenses that can be used against a conviction. When it comes to the crime of asset forfeiture, if the defendant can prove in court that they didn’t know that the property in question would be used in or for the commission of some sort of crime, then the defendant has a good legal defense against conviction. So while this can be a particularly damaging charge in terms of loss of property, there are ways to avoid a conviction.
Turn to us in your time of need.
See? That was pretty simple. When you take the complicated letter of the law and simplify it to its basic components, you make it much easier to understand and you also lay the foundation for a sound legal defense. We hope this little article helped to clear things up for you, and we want to remind you that if you’re facing any sort of legal trouble or think that you might be facing some in the future, you should reach out to us immediately. We’ll get everything straightened out for you.