People accused of crimes are often surprised that one of the most costly repercussions is asset forfeiture. In Mississippi, law enforcement can seize any property that was used in the commission of a crime, purchased with the proceeds of a crime or otherwise associated with a crime. Law enforcement frequently seizes cash and cars in criminal cases. Even homes may be seized in major criminal cases. The person accused of the crime forfeits this property.
At the Law Office of George B. Ready in Hernando, we know all about the intricacies of criminal and civil forfeiture. We know how to defend against the loss of property and, in certain circumstances, may even be able to reclaim forfeited property. If your property has been seized in association with criminal charges or you believe you are at risk of forfeiting property, we encourage you to find out how an experienced lawyer can help.
Abuse Of Forfeiture Power By Law Enforcement
There are two types of forfeiture: criminal forfeiture and civil forfeiture. Criminal forfeiture can only be completed when the accused has been convicted of the crime. Civil forfeiture, on the other hand, can be conducted prior to and even without a conviction.
The power of civil forfeiture is often abused by law enforcement agencies in Mississippi. In fact, some law enforcement agencies rely on civil forfeitures as a source of revenue, as the state allows the law enforcement agency to collect 80 percent of the proceeds.
The laws surrounding civil forfeiture are much less strict than those related to criminal forfeiture. While a criminal conviction and subsequent forfeitures require guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the state only needs to prove by the preponderance of the evidence that an asset was related to criminal activity and subject to civil forfeiture. Ultimately, the owner of the asset is forced to prove that he or she was innocent in order to prevent asset forfeiture.
Preventing Asset Forfeiture
We provide comprehensive criminal defense representation in Southaven and Olive Branch. We are ready to defend against any charges, from drunk driving to drug possession to drug trafficking to theft offenses. However, we will not just defend against the criminal charges themselves. We will do everything possible to anticipate and prevent forfeiture, or to reclaim seized assets.
Asset forfeiture defense is complex. We have achieved a record of success defending against the loss of property that was allegedly used in the commission of a crime or purchased with the proceeds of criminal activity. We know how to protect your record and your property.
Free Consultations About Our Asset Forfeiture Defense
Call 662-298-7069 or 888-341-1185 to discuss preventing forfeiture or recovering seized assets with a skilled attorney. You can also contact us through email. In addition to DeSoto County, we regularly provide representation to clients in northern Mississippi and western Tennessee. The consultation is free.