Asset Forfeiture Laws
Asset forfeiture laws, which have been enacted at the state and federal levels of government, effectively empower legal authorities to take action to try to seize property that may be linked to criminal activities. While these laws differ in scope and can affect how individuals have to defend themselves to avoid asset forfeiture, they are similar in that:
- They generally place the burden of proof on the individual.
- They require immediate action in terms of a defense because there are usually strict time limits for challenging asset forfeitures.
Both federal and Alabama asset forfeiture laws are complicated and put the burden of proof on the person facing asset forfeiture. Contact our attorney at Joe Reed & Associates, LLC, to learn more.
Federal Asset Forfeiture Laws
Various statutes codify asset forfeiture laws at the federal government level, allowing the authorities to initiate criminal, civil or administrative asset forfeiture proceedings in an effort to seize assets related to crime.
According to federal asset forfeiture laws:
- Both domestic and foreign assets can be the target of forfeiture.
- The U.S. Department of Justice generally oversees asset forfeiture cases (via its Asset Forfeiture Program). The U.S. Marshals Service and/or the U.S. Department of the Treasury are typically responsible for managing and disposing of seized property with the goal of maximizing the proceeds from the disposal (sale) of the property (usually via auctions).
- In general, to initiate federal asset forfeiture cases, there needs to be “probable cause,” meaning that there merely needs to be a suspicion that the property in question is linked to criminal activities.
Alabama Asset Forfeiture Laws
Alabama asset forfeiture laws are specifically spelled out in Alabama Code § 20-2-93 (Forfeitures; seizures). These laws generally stipulate that:
- Any property used to commit a crime, intended to be used to commit a crime or obtained from a criminal action can be subject to forfeiture.
- State, county and city government agencies in Alabama can initiate forfeiture proceedings when probable cause exists (i.e., when there is a suspicion that the property is linked to criminal activities).
- Seized property may be “retained for official use” or sold as long as that property is not required by law to be destroyed and/or is not harmful to the public.
- The government agency that has effectively seized a person’s assets gets to keep 100% of the assets (or the proceeds from the sale of the assets).
Both federal and Alabama asset forfeiture laws are complicated, and knowing how to properly mount a strong defense in these cases requires the help of a skilled attorney.
Our Montgomery And Birmingham Asset Forfeiture Attorney At Joe Reed & Associates, LLC
If you have received notice that the authorities are planning to seize your assets, don’t wait to contact our attorney, Joe Reed. He is here for you, and he is ready to aggressively defend you, your rights and your assets in any legal setting.
For more than 25 years, Mr. Reed has been committed to the pursuit of justice in every case he has overseen, and his experience, dedication and extensive knowledge of the law make him effective at helping our clients obtain the best possible outcomes to their cases. By trusting attorney Reed to represent you, you can rest assured that he will build you a strong case, stand up for your rights at every step of the legal process and work relentlessly to resolve your case as favorably as possible.
Contact Us Today
You are encouraged to attend an initial consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your rights. You can set up this meeting today by calling 334-834-2000 or emailing us using our contact form. Initial consultations are free in most cases, and evening and weekend appointments are available for your convenience.