Civil Forfeiture and Cash Seizure Attorneys
Are you a victim of cash or property seizure caused by forfeiture laws? Our attorneys can help retrieve your seized cash or property for you, WITHOUT charging you attorney fees. Call our civil forfeiture attorneys at 708.606.4386 today!
Unrivaled Illinois Cash Seizure and Civil Forfeiture Attorneys
If you have been charged with a crime, you could be facing a number of serious consequences, including fines and jail time. However, many people are not aware that law enforcement officials also perform cash and property seizures if they believe it has been involved in criminal activity.
Asset forfeiture and cash seizure is one of the largest areas of potential law enforcement overreach in Illinois and the United States today. Many police departments, sheriff’s offices, and prosecutors have been accused of using this practice as a method of generating revenue rather than fighting crime. Even when state laws limit the practice, state and local authorities often partner with the federal government to seize assets and share the proceeds. In these cases, you need an experienced defense attorney to help you challenge the seizure of your property.
If you have been charged with a crime, you could be facing a number of serious consequences, including fines and jail time. However, many people are not aware that law enforcement officials can also seize your property, including money, personal possessions, and real estate if they believe it has been involved in criminal activity.
Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Overview
Through civil forfeiture, the government (or any agency that seized the property) sell such property and keeps as much as 80% of the proceeds for itself. This practice is also known as equitable sharing.
Civil Forfeiture Stats
According to Forbes’ article regarding civil forfeiture, “without warrants and despite a lack of criminal charges, law enforcement nationwide has taken in $2.5 billion from 61,998 cash seizures under equitable sharing” and “local and state authorities kept $1.7 billion for their own uses.”
How Civil Forfeiture Happens
Civil Forfeiture happens when you have had your car, home, or other property seized by the government even though you were never charged or convicted of a crime, then you have been victimized by civil forfeiture laws. The Institute for Justice defines civil forfeiture as “the government power to take property suspected of involvement in a crime” even if the owner was not charged with a crime.
Image source: Illinois Policy Reports
Recent Forfeiture Victories
DEPT. OF JUSTICE
Money taken from a client in O’hare airport was returned to our client.
Money found in-dash of the vehicle our client was stopped in was returned to our clients.
Money taken from an unlawful traffic stop was returned to our clients.
If the police have seized your cash or property without cause, our team can retrieve it for you WITHOUT charging you for attorney fees.
If the property was seized following an illegal search that violated someone’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure, we’ll argue the case be dismissed.
If police officers did not have sufficient evidence to link the property with a crime at the time it was seized, the property may have been seized illegally.
The 8th Amendment protects against excessive fines. If assets are forfeitable, but the crime and forfeiture are not equal, the forfeiture may be ruled unjust.
An excessive delay in bringing a forfeiture case to trial that harms a defendant or claimant’s ability to fight to retrieve their property may result in dismissing the case.
Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Reform
In 2014, the state of Minnesota put the United States’ foot in the door of equitable sharing reform by passing a law that now requires the government to convict a person of a crime in order to seize property. This Minnesota reform law hopefully will stop law enforcement from abusing their power to seize property for their own gains and make its way over to the rest of the United States. In Illinois, civilians are “protected” from civil forfeiture by the Drug Asset Forfeiture Act, which allows law enforcement to seize property under the guise of probable cause, which, as we saw from Forbes’ article, leaves the average person unprotected. Once the property has been seized, the owner must file a claim and prove in court that he was not involved in any illegal activity. As Illinois Policy’s article remarks, this process “is a bizarre reversal of what we expect under the law” because we are supposed to be “considered innocent until proven guilty – not forced to go into court to justify why we should be allowed to keep our property.”
We Can Help You!
If you have had your property wrongfully seized by the police, call Attorney Edward Johnson & Associates P.C. for help today. If the police have seized your cash or property without cause, our team can retrieve it for you WITHOUT charging you for attorney fees. No cash? No problem! We will get you your money back, and then we will ask for a percentage of the seized cash. Call us today at 708.606.4386.
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Chicago’s Best criminal lawyers, providing the most complete criminal defense at low cost. Specializing in Criminal Defense cases involving DUI, Drug, Weapons, Murder, Civil Forfeiture, Orders of Protection and more!
Edward Johnson and Associates P.C.
555 W Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60661