Asset Forfeiture

Asset Forfeiture Lawyer Serving Fort Worth, Texas

Have you been charged with a state or federal crime? Has Texas or the federal government seized your property, whether cash, house, vehicle, or boat? If so, you are being subject to civil asset forfeiture, and you need an experienced attorney to help you recover the property that is rightfully yours. At the Law Office of Steven Jumes, We represent clients in a wide range of state and federal criminal charges. In addition to fighting your criminal charge, we can also help you fight to recover all property that the government has seized during the investigation or arrest.

 

Discuss Your Case With a Dallas/Fort Worth Civil Forfeiture Attorney

Our  Dallas-Fort Worth civil asset forfeiture lawyers will file a lawsuit on your behalf and fight to recover the property that has been wrongfully seized from you by the government. Trying to obtain property back after a civil asset forfeiture is complicated. Many people whose property was seized do not know where to start to get their property back. Our experienced civil asset forfeiture attorney is committed to protecting your rights and defending your property. Contact the Law Office of Steven Jumes today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about how we can protect you and your property.

For more information about Texas civil forfeiture laws, please read:

 

Why You Need a Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney on Your Side

At the Law Office of Steven Jumes, We have a simple goal, which is to do everything we can to help you recover the property that has been taken away from you. Civil asset forfeiture allows the government to take people’s property, in many cases, unjustly. When you get pulled over, arrested, indicted, or charged with a crime, the government may seize any property they view to be associated with the alleged crime. As a result, people who have not even been convicted of a crime can lose their property and find it difficult to pay their bills and continue their lives.

 

Understanding Asset Forfeiture in Texas

Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure addresses the seizure of contraband. Under this law, law enforcement officers can seize any property they deem contraband. The owner of the property must let it go with the police. Contraband is defined as real, personal, tangible, or intangible property used in the commission of a crime and can include:

  • Land
  • Buildings
  • Vehicles
  • Computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Cash
  • Drugs or illegal substances
  • Drug paraphernalia

After a law enforcement officer has seized the contraband, the District Attorneys (DA) or the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) can bring a case against the assets themselves. This is not a criminal proceeding, and you will not be charged with a crime. Instead, it is a civil proceeding because it is a lawsuit filed against your property, not you as a defendant. These proceedings are separate from the criminal proceedings. As a result, you do not have a right to a public defender during the civil trial. If law enforcement officers have taken your assets, you will need to contact a private attorney to represent you and help you get your property back.

 

Potential Temporary Return of the Property

You can petition the court to return your assets temporarily while the civil lawsuit against your property is ongoing. You will need to execute a valid bond equal to the appraised value of the property that has been seized. On the day of the forfeit hearing, you will be required to return the property to the state of Texas, and you must abide by whatever decision the courts come to regarding the assets that you have forfeited. Only certain types of contraband are eligible for a temporary return. You cannot retrieve any contraband that is:

  • Money
  • A security (such as stocks)
  • A negotiable instrument (such as a cashier’s check)
  • Property held as evidence in a pending criminal case or a criminal investigation

 

The Innocent Owner Defense

Many people do not realize that you do not have to be convicted of a crime for the government to seize your property, making it difficult to defend the forfeiture of your assets. The prosecution does not even need to prove that the assets they took are contraband beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard of proof in criminal cases. Instead, they only need to prove that the assets are contraband by a preponderance of the evidence, which is not as difficult to prove. As the owner, you have the right to claim an innocent owner defense. You will need to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:

  • You acquired the property before or during the alleged criminal activity but did not know and should not have reasonably known about the crime, or
  • You acquired the property after criminal activity occurred but before law enforcement seized the property. You did not have any reason to believe that the property was contraband.

To make this defense, you need to know that you were not involved in any criminal activity and had no idea and could not have reasonably known the property was used in connection with the crime. Proving these factors can be difficult, especially if you have a pending criminal case against you. Attorney Steven Jumes has a proven track record of success. He will investigate your case and help you make the best defense possible to get your property back and fight the charges against you. 

 

Contact a Skilled Asset Forfeiture Attorney in Fort Worth, Texas

If you are being investigated for a crime or have already been charged with a crime, having your property seized adds significant stress to an already stressful situation. On top of the criminal charges you have to deal with, you are now faced with civil court cases. Asset forfeiture cases should never be handled without the guidance of experienced legal counsel. Attorney Steven Jumes has extensive experience defending clients against a wide range of criminal charges and getting the property that has been seized back to them. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with the Law Office of Steven Jumes today.