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Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney in Marietta, GA

When you want to protect your rights and property, you need a Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney in Marietta, GA. Call The Waltman Firm for resources and support.

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Civil Asset Forfeiture Lawyer

Have the police seized your assets, and you are worried you could lose them? Do not worry because a civil asset attorney can help.

Civil asset forfeiture occurs when law enforcement officers seize your property or cash on suspicion that it has been used for criminal purposes. A civil asset forfeiture lawyer helps in recovering confiscated assets. 

Sometimes the system is unfair and seizes property and cash during traffic stops without a warrant. A civil asset forfeiture lawyer could help.

 

Federal Government Asset Forfeiture Laws

The federal government allows forfeiture of property belonging to Americans under specific circumstances. If law enforcement suspects that your property is used in criminal activity, such as concealing the sale of illegal drugs, it could be seized, including your car, cash, and other property.

Georgia Asset Forfeiture Laws

Under Georgia law, the police may seize your property if they have probable cause to believe that it is being used to conduct criminal activity. They may also seize evidence on your person for use in court.

Georgia law requires that property seized meets a specified minimum adoption threshold. State seizure needs the property to be worth at least $250. Unless it is specially equipped for concealing or promoting criminal activity, a car must be at least $2,500 in value.

Georgia has some of the strictest civil forfeiture laws in the US. However, it requires law enforcement agencies to make a report of seized property and outline how they used the property.

Probable Cause and Civil Forfeiture

A probable cause is a reasonable suspicion that a particular person has committed a crime. The Fourth Amendment requires police to show probable cause before making an arrest, conducting a search, or obtaining a warrant.

In order to confiscate seized property, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause. It prevents officers from taking civilians’ property based on their personal judgment, which might be flawed.

However, they do not need probable cause if you allow them to search your premises. They can use any incriminating evidence they find against you in a court of law.

Police officers do not need a warrant to search and seize illegal items found in plain sight. They also don’t need a warrant for stop and frisk and at DUI checkpoints.

Consult an experienced attorney familiar with Georgia civil forfeiture laws if your property has been seized. If your lawyer can prove an unlawful search and seizure, they can move to dismiss your case and have your property returned to you.

Can the Police Confiscate My Property Without a Criminal Conviction?

Georgia law does not require police departments to pursue criminal charges after seizing your assets. However, you need to prove that you did not use your property to abet a crime.

Seizure of property leaves most citizens in a vulnerable position. They have to cover the cost of proving that their assets were not used to aid criminal activity. It can be especially difficult for individuals with low incomes.

Talking to an experienced attorney could help you provide proof your property was not used for criminal activity.

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The system is not always fair. There are times when the police and prosecutors take innocent people’s money and property. Most of these seizures occur based on traffic stops or civil actions, most of which are illegal.

Law enforcement officers have used civil forfeiture laws to circumvent the Fourth Amendment. They are not required to initiate criminal charges following seizures, so the laws “allow” them to do this.

Most of the time, cash and property seized fund the offices that take them, so the process is only partially objective. The DOJ’s Forfeiture Fund collects and auctions property seized through civil forfeiture. The government distributes these proceeds to federal and state agencies, including local jails and police departments. 

Can Seized Assets Be Returned?

Your seized property can be returned if you prove it was not used in criminal activity. However, providing such proof could be difficult, especially for persons with low incomes, due to the cost of the legal process. If your property is used as evidence in court, the state can hold it until the completion of the case.

To recover your property, you must file a civil forfeiture action. You have 30 days from the time of notice to contest the forfeiture. If you do not fight forfeiture during this period, you will forfeit your property to the police.

How Can a Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney Help?

Talking to a lawyer with extensive experience in Georgia civil forfeiture laws would be essential to help you navigate the justice system.

If you involve an attorney, you will likely have better outcomes in your asset forfeiture case. Our experienced attorneys will help you know your options in your asset forfeiture case.

A civil asset forfeiture lawyer can represent you and help you regain your property and cash. They will also help you file the necessary paperwork to initiate the process of recovering your possessions. Most importantly, a civil asset forfeiture attorney will outline options at your disposal and advise you on the right course of action to take.

Contact a civil asset forfeiture attorney in Marietta, GA. The Waltman Firm has knowledgeable lawyers who are attentive and offer personalized services to their clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens to Property Seized in Georgia?

If you do not try to get back your property, your assets become federal and state property. The federal government redistributes the property between federal and state agencies. It is your responsibility to make efforts to reclaim your property.

Will I Face Criminal Charges After My Assets Are Seized?

The law does not require law enforcement to pursue criminal charges. They can seize your assets without accompanying criminal charges.

How Long Do I Have to Wait to Get My Assets Back After the Police Have Seized Them?

You have up to 30 days to begin the process of reclaiming your assets. A civil asset forfeiture lawyer could help you initiate the process to get your assets back.