Did you know that the state of New York can seize your personal assets even if you have not been convicted of a crime? Criminal defense attorneys know this practice as "civil asset forfeiture," and it happens more than you might think. Defendants often suffer serious setbacks when officers seize vehicles, bank accounts, cash and other assets simply because they are thought to be connected with criminal activity. You do not even have to be charged with a crime for this seizure to occur! In all, reports show that annual revenues from civil asset forfeiture pad the state's coffers with an additional $28 million per year.
As a result of this policy, police officers are more likely to target potential defendants' forfeitable assets. This can lead to an unfair application of justice - and the only solution may be fighting back against the criminal charge with the help of a robust attorney. Many of the victims of civil asset forfeiture are entirely innocent New Yorkers who are unable to reclaim their property after it is taken. Law enforcement agencies are allowed to keep up to 80 percent of the property recovered in these legal proceedings.
Defendants who are facing allegations of drug offenses and property crimes could be at a particularly high risk of civil asset forfeiture - but you do not have to accept these unfair consequences. Instead, seek the help of a qualified team of attorneys. A legal professional can help you fight to keep your property and make sure you maximize the outcome of your criminal case. You do not have to be victimized by the state courts and their unscrupulous behavior.
Source: The Daily News, "How NY cops prey on private property," Ronald Fraser, May 10, 2017