Baltimore, MD Property Forfeiture Defense Attorney
Forfeiture of property is a serious problem because it's a money-maker for the government. And there are few things worse in criminal justice when it comes to the government taking away your property. In fact, that's not justice at all, especially if you haven't been convicted of any crime.
When it comes to forfeiture of property, cash and cars are two frequent targets. The government can assert that your vehicle was used in the commission of an alleged crime, or that your money was obtained as a result of criminal activity like drug distribution or white collar crime.
If you have been arrested or you're the subject of a grand jury proceeding, it is important to contact a criminal attorney. I am defense attorney Jim Crawford. Since 1992 I have represented Maryland clients who have a lot to lose, whether it's their car, their home or business, or the money in their pockets or bank accounts.
Defending Your Property Against Forfeiture/Seizure
It is my position that you are innocent until proven guilty - which applies not only to your freedom but to your property as well. If we arrange a favorable plea bargain or you are acquitted of charges at trial, the only person with a legitimate right to your property is you.
Unfortunately, the police or the prosecutor may have already taken it.
I've seen two common situations where the government oversteps its authority:
- You are detained on suspicion of a drug offense. The police conduct a search of your body, car, or home, and seize the cash and other property they find. Later, you are released and never charged, but the police keep your cash.
- You are under investigation for a white collar crime. A prosecutor obtains a grand jury indictment - freezing the assets in your bank accounts in the process - before he or she has even brought a formal criminal complaint against you.
Forfeiture of property is a widespread problem because it is on the rightful owner to bring a claim for the property after his or her criminal case has been resolved. Many people never do.
If you are arrested, but never charged, or you are acquitted at trial, the government may have already taken your property and intends to keep it, knowing that it has the upper hand. Don't let that happen. Contact me at 443-709-9999 or toll free at 443-709-9999 for a free consultation with a Baltimore drug charges lawyer.