Hartford Criminal Asset Forfeiture Attorneys
Defense when you’re facing asset seizure in Hartford & Manchester, CT
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you’re likely facing a number of consequences, including possible jail time and financial penalties. Another consequence of being charged with a crime – even if you’re innocent – is that authorities can seize your property and assets if they think it’s been used for criminal activity.
Although the state and local government has the rightful authority to seize assets and property used to carry out a crime, it’s illegal to do so when they violate your rights. If your car, boat, cash, real estate, jewelry, or other valuable assets were seized by law enforcement, talk to the Hartford criminal defense lawyers at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC today.
Why did the authorities seize my assets and property?
One of the most severe and long-lasting consequences of criminal charges is the seizure of assets and property. In many cases, these assets can be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s crucial to have an experienced and aggressive attorney on your side in these types of legal issues.
The government and authorities can seize your assets for a variety of reasons, including if:
- The asset was purchased with the proceeds from illegal activity
- The asset was used to commit a crime or illegal activity
- The assets or money was tainted due to money laundering
Although many people typically think about asset seizure regarding drug crimes, asset forfeiture and seizure also often occur when individuals are charged with white collar crimes, like internet crimes or embezzlement. Authorities might take airplanes, bank accounts, or vacation homes – if they believe it was involved in criminal activity or purchased with illegal funds, they can seize it. In some cases, they may even seize business assets.
Our Hartford criminal defense attorneys can explain more about your particular circumstances and provide legal guidance.
Is it criminal or civil asset forfeiture?
There are a few key differences between criminal asset forfeiture and civil asset forfeiture.
With criminal asset forfeiture, law enforcement believes criminal activity allegedly occurred. Agencies seize the proceeds (assets) that they believe defendants acquired as a result of their illegal activity. As a defendant, you can’t address the seizure of your property until after your case is resolved.
The government isn’t entitled to any of your property if you’re acquitted or your case is resolved by plea or dismissal. After resolution of your case, you can begin the process of acquiring your rightful property back with the help of a trusted attorney. And, even in the case of a guilty verdict, the government is only entitled to the property that was tied to the alleged crime. Our attorneys can help sort out the difference.
Civil asset seizure has always been a bit different – and more controversial – than criminal asset seizure. Up until 2017, civil asset seizure could proceed independently of any criminal case. A person didn’t even have to be arrested to have his or her property taken, and the burden of proof was much lower. However, with the passage of Connecticut HB 7146, to permanently seize property in a civil forfeiture, it must be connected with a search warrant resulting in a lawful arrest. Without a guilty verdict, the government must return the property to its rightful owner.
Proponents of asset forfeiture regulation believe that many current forfeiture laws are too overreaching, accusing police departments, sheriffs, and prosecutors of using them to generate revenue than actually punishing actual criminals. Many state laws limit the reach of asset forfeiture laws, Connecticut included; however, state and local authorities may partner with the federal government to seize assets and split the proceeds instead. Often, only an experienced attorney can help you retrieve what’s rightfully yours.
How our Hartford asset seizure and forfeiture attorneys can help
It’s not easy to go up against the government alone. If you need to contest the seizure of your assets and property, you need experienced lawyers on your side with the knowledge to build a strong, tight case.
We investigate every aspect of your situation, from beginning to end, to find out if your rights were violated during any portion of the criminal justice process. Perhaps your assets were taken although you had no connection to that particular crime. Or law enforcement seized your property without proper warrants or requirements. In some cases, your property may have been used in illegal activity without your knowledge.
The legal team at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC looks into every detail and protects your rights to a fair and honest resolution to your case – working to retrieve what belongs to you.
Tenacious Hartford criminal defense attorneys
Fighting property and asset seizure is a complex area of law. The lawyers at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC can help. We work with clients accused of white-collar crime, drug charges, and more after their property was seized during the criminal law process. Talk to us today. We’re located minutes off I-384 in Manchester. To schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.