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Forfeiture Cases

If either the State of Florida or the federal government seizes property from someone that they believe was acquired as a result of criminal activity or was used to facilitate a crime, you need the best Miami forfeiture lawyer you can find to assist you. At the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh, we have extensive experience handling forfeiture matters in both state and federal court in South Florida and throughout the U.S. With a limited time to respond, you must call immediately.

Forfeiture matters typically involve the seizure of bank accounts, cars, boats, houses and/or cash. The law permits the U.S. government and the State of Florida to take your property through a criminal or civil proceeding. Any property, including interest in property, may be seized and forfeited.

Florida Law

One of the primary statutes in Florida that deals with forfeiture is 932.703. The statute dictates that a seizure of property may occur if there’s a violation of any provision of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. The Act enables law enforcement to seize property if the owner of the property is arrested for a criminal offense. After seizure, the State of Florida must provide written notification that they intend to seize the property permanently. The statute further makes it clear that “All settlements must personally be approved by the head of the law enforcement agency that seized the property.” The statute is very detailed and contains countless rules and details that govern forfeiture law. An experienced and talented Miami forfeiture lawyer will best be able to advise you of which portions of the statute best apply to your particular case.

Federal Law

Beginning during the 1970’s, lawmakers focused their efforts on creating tougher forfeiture laws in order to go after those who were involved in organized crime and federal drug trafficking. As intended, the amount of personal property and cash they have been able to seize has gone up tremendously. They are not entitled to seize property in every criminal case.

In those cases that they attempt to seize property, the burden of proof is much lower than what is required to prove someone guilty in a criminal case. Prosecutors must only prove their forfeiture case by a “preponderance of the evidence.” That means, they just show that “more likely than not” the property seized was as a result of criminal activity. To obtain a conviction in a criminal case, the burden is the highest under the law, “Beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.”

Defenses

There are many defenses available to someone fighting to keep their property from being seized. An experienced forfeiture attorney in Miami should be able to inform you on the best defense to use for your case. One of the most popular defenses is that the property seized by law enforcement was never involved in the commission of any crime. For example, it’s not uncommon for us to win back our clients’ seized cash, successfully arguing that our clients earned the money through a lawful business.

Another defense is that the person who owned the property had no idea it might have been used in the commission of a crime. There are clients that we’ve had who innocently purchase a car or boat that was previously used in a drug deal. Absent any guilty knowledge of that drug transaction, our clients deserve their property back.

Call Us Immediately

Having your hard earned money and/or personal property seized by the State of Florida or the U.S. Government can be a horrible experience. At the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh, with the best forfeiture attorney in Miami, we have helped hundreds of clients fight against law enforcement and get their property back. We are dedicated to serving our clients on these forfeiture matters and always obtain the best possible outcome. Call us day or night, 24/7 at (877) 674-0003. Allow us to be of service to you. The initial consultation is free. We look forward to fighting for you.