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Tampa Asset Seizure / Forfeiture Defense Attorney

In some specific situations, Florida law can allow for a local Country Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or Police Department to seize assets such as money, property or other resources you might possess if the State believes the asset(s) have a correlation to either the profits from or in connection to the expenses of a crime. This is one of the most severe punishments available to the State if you are convicted of something like a white collar crime. In large scale cases, it is imperative to hire an experienced defense attorney.

Since the State is taking something from you or a loved one, Procedural and Substantive Due Process requires a hearing and legal determination by a Judge to be afforded to anyone who feels those assets have been illegally seized from them during an arrest.

Some common situations include drug trafficking arrests but also can occur if you were involved in a White Collar Crime. Other situations include:

  • Burglary
  • Money Laundering
  • RICO
  • Conspiracy to Defraud
  • Fraud
  • Grand Theft

The most common areas of forfeiture is usually in respect to money or cash but may also include homes, planes, trailers, boats, bank accounts, family or personal property, and jewelry can also be taken in some situations.

Criminal asset seizure is not only limited to white collar crimes, but may also apply to drug crimes. Some specific cases may also allow business asset forfeiture.

Some of the most common reasons property will be seized when dealing with drug trafficking crimes are:

  • Your transportation device (car, truck, or boat) was used to conduct drug trafficking business. Even if the case has not been presented to court yet, the government may seize the vehicle. Even if you are unaware that this activity occurred on your property, it may be seized at anytime.
  • Your property was used to grow marijuana, even without your knowledge. For example, if your roommate was growing plants, the property may still be taken from you.
  • There is a financial element integrated in the crime. For example, the law believes you took profits from a mortgage scheme and used it to purchase a house.

The federal government can capture your assets for any number of reasons, but the most common include:

  • The asset was purchased with profits of illegal activity
  • The asset was used to commit a crime
  • Money laundering was involved to avoid income taxes
  • A business faces civil allegations for violation of the Patriot Act

After an asset has been seized, it is treated like evidence and stored in a secure location, but some items, like vehicles, may be auctioned through the State. If you feel your property has been unrightfully forfeited, contact Joe Caimano immediately.