Civil Asset Forfeiture In Criminal Cases

Posted on April 30th, 2021 by Danielle Giannola

As criminal defense lawyers in Cook County, IL, we know how confusing and scary it can be if you are facing criminal charges. Thankfully, our Chicago-area law firm can help you navigate the intricacies of your case to ensure you know exactly what to do if you’re charged with a crime. 

One area of law you may not know much about is asset forfeiture. If you’ve been charged with asset forfeiture in a criminal law case, here’s what you should know about your next steps. 

What Is Asset Forfeiture?

Law enforcement agencies may use asset forfeiture when dealing with a criminal offense or with a criminal organization. Under civil asset forfeiture, the police have the right to seize any property that they believe was involved in a crime. Examples of items seized may include money, property, bank accounts, vehicles, jewelry, art, and more. 

In addition to seizing any property that was allegedly involved in the crime, civil asset forfeiture also allows the police to keep or sell that property. While asset forfeiture was once used by the government to defend against privacy, it is used today to deter those who take advantage of vulnerable parties for financial gain. From violent crimes to white-collar crimes, asset forfeiture aims to protect against a variety of crimes. 

How the Forfeited Funds are Used

Forfeited funds are utilized on the state and federal levels to help make improvements to the community and to further support law enforcement. For example, forfeited funds may be used to improve:

  • Local drug treatment facilities
  • Youth afterschool programs
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Supporting domestic violence victims
  • Equipment for a 911 call center
  • Job skills program
  • Dogs that sniff bombs

However, many police departments today take advantage of forfeiture to help deepen their pockets instead of helping to fight crime. You must have the right legal team on your side to ensure you are being treated fairly throughout this process. 

What to Do If You’ve Been Involved In a Forfeiture Case

In the case that your property was seized because it is crime evidence, you’ll get it back when the case ends if it is contraband or being held for forfeiture. In the case that you are found innocent, you’ll still have to win your forfeiture case before obtaining your lost property. This is where the best criminal defense lawyer in DuPage County comes into play, as we can answer your questions and work diligently to obtain a favorable outcome for you. 

Contact Our Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Our team at Giannola Legal LLC will provide swift and effective legal representation to help you navigate your case. Because this is such a complicated area of law, trust that our law office will guide you in the right direction, always taking the time to answer your questions and ensure you are informed of your rights. 

We even offer free consultations so you can better understand if you have a case. Get in touch with our team to get started.

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