Miami Federal Crime Attorney
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Asset Forfeiture in Miami

Miami Federal Crime Lawyer Explains Asset Confiscation

When a person is convicted of a criminal act, he or she may be fined, sent to jail or prison, placed on a lengthy term of probation and subjected to additional penalties such as loss of voting rights. In addition to these punishments, the individual may be subjected to asset forfeiture.

Under certain circumstances, a person who has been convicted may lose some or most of his or her assets to seizure or confiscation. Specifically, asset forfeiture is directed at assets that the government believes to have been procured with funds obtained through criminal activities, as well as assets that are supposed to have been used as the instrumentalities of a crime.

When is asset forfeiture used?

Perhaps the most commonly recognized example of asset confiscation occurs in cases of drug trafficking. For example, the assets may have been purchased by using funds that were the proceeds of smuggling or selling drugs. Additionally, the assets may have been used in drug trafficking activities, such as an automobile, boat, plane or house.

Anything that is suspected to have been used in the commission of the crime or to have been procured by committing the crime is liable to asset seizure. Drug trafficking is not the only type of case which can result in forfeiture of assets. White collar crimes are also frequently punished by confiscation.

What happens to confiscated assets?

The United States Marshal Service is charged with the management and disposition of properties that have been seized by the Department of Justice. At any given time, they have around $1 billion worth of assets in their holding. After an asset has been confiscated, it will then be sold off at auction or to the private sector, and the funds thus raised are used to support law enforcement activities.

If you are charged with a crime in a case that could lead to asset forfeiture, you could not only be subjected to harsh criminal penalties but could also stand to lose most or all of what you own in terms of personal or corporate assets.

Fighting Back Against Asset Seizure

Fortunately, it is possible to fight back in order to block an attempt to confiscate assets. The most direct approach is to beat the underlying criminal charges and to secure an acquittal or a dismissal of the charges. Even if you are convicted, however, your Miami federal crime lawyer can still seek to prevent asset forfeiture in your case. Your attorney can do so by placing the burden of proof on the federal prosecutor to establish that the assets were in fact purchased with criminal proceeds rather than with your own legitimate funds, or that the assets were in fact used in the commission of a crime.

Find out more about how we can help and schedule a free case evaluation now by contacting us at Joel DeFabio, PA.

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  1. Over 35 years of Experience
  2. Shaped the South Florida Criminal Justice System
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