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Miami Criminal Defense Attorney: “Forfeitures” How to Fight Having Your Property Seized by the Courts

In certain instances, Florida law allows the seizure of various properties.  This practice is known in legal terms as “Forfeiture.”

The practice of seizure of property according to forfeiture is legal, but sometimes is misused and even at times abused by law enforcement and the justice system.  That’s why you need to understand the process and know your rights.

To learn more about Forfeitures, contact Miami Criminal Defense Attorney, Evan A. Hoffman and don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.

The main reason for having property seized under Forfeiture Law is that the property is believed to have been obtained through illegal activity, or was purchased with funds that were obtained through illegal activity.  But in order for the seizure to be carried out, it must be proven that the property was indeed obtained through such means.

Forfeiture is governed under Florida code 932.073 and is described as:

(1) (a) Any contraband article, vessel, motor vehicle, aircraft, other personal property, or real property used in violation of any provision of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, or in, upon, or by means of which any violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act has taken or is taking place, may be seized and shall be forfeited subject to the provisions of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.

In addition to the state, there are also federal laws which may apply.

Property may be seized under forfeiture law for reasons including RICO violations and cases involving racketeering, or in cases of Money obtained though fraud, such as mortgage fraudmail fraud or wire fraud.  Property can be defined as pretty much anything of value including real estate, vehicles, boats, aircraft, jewelry, and of course money.

People who are facing having their property seized need to act quickly because they only have Fifteen (15) days in state actions, and Ten (10) days in federal actions after receiving notice of the Forfeiture to file a request for an adverse preliminary hearing to preserve all of their rights.

If you are fighting to keep your property, an experienced Miami Criminal Defense Attorney can help prove that your property was obtained legally and prevent it from being seized. Contact Evan A. Hoffman today for a FREE consultation.

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