Many people do not realize until it personally affects them that the government has the ability to seize property from an individual if it believes that property is furthering a crime. This act is known as asset forfeiture and can be carried out as part of a criminal case or a civil case.
Having your property taken away from you by the government — often when you are not even facing criminal charges — is infuriating. Attorney Jonathan Rose has years of experience representing individuals in the who have been victims of asset forfeiture by the government. He will aggressively protect your rights when your property has been taken from you.
Mr. Rose believes strongly in the Constitution and your right to be free from government intrusion, including the baseless taking of property. He has been successful in returning property to his clients in asset forfeiture actions in state and federal courts.
Civil Forfeiture vs. Criminal Forfeiture
There are two types of asset forfeiture: criminal forfeiture and civil forfeiture. Criminal forfeiture can only occur if the defendant is convicted of a crime. For this reason, it is used far less often by state and federal prosecutors. Civil forfeiture is much more common because you do not have to be charged with a crime in order for the government to seize your assets. State and federal statutes are designed to make it simple and efficient for the government to seize and keep your property.
In Florida state court, there are two stages of forfeiture:
Probable cause: During this stage, the agency trying to forfeit your property must establish that there is probable cause, or a fair probability, that your property has some connection to a crime. It is also during this stage that Jonathan Rose presents your case to the seizing agency and negotiates for the return of your property. If negotiations fail, you are entitled to a hearing in which that agency must establish probable cause to keep your property.
Civil litigation: If unsuccessful during the probable cause stage, a formal lawsuit may be filed and litigated with the forfeiting agency.
In federal court, prosecutors often bring a separate civil asset forfeiture proceeding in which the government tries to take your property such as your cash, bank account balance, real estate, vehicles, computers or your home on the basis that the property was allegedly connected to criminal activity.
There is no preliminary hearing to determine probable cause in federal court, however. The government will file a civil case against the property in U.S. District Court if an agreement to return property entirely or in part is not reached.
Jonathan Rose been successful in returning clients’ property and is committed to defending and protecting his clients’ rights, liberty, and property. If you, your family or your business is the subject of an asset forfeiture proceeding, call today to arrange for an informative consultation with an experienced asset forfeiture attorney. Don’t delay – there are time limits for claiming an interest in the property and you could lose your opportunity to contest the forfeiture.
If you are going through asset forfeiture proceedings, Mr. Rose will fight to help you regain control of your property. He will challenge the forfeiture with a comprehensive defense strategy. He has been successful in negotiating the complete return of his clients’ property — often due to constitutional violations committed by police or the seizing agency’s failure to comply with forfeiture statutes. Or you may not have been aware that your property was being used in conjunction with a crime or there may be no connection at all.
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To schedule an initial consultation, please call the firm at 407-894-4555, or request an appointment by email.