Civil Forfeiture and Recovering Seized Assets

Law Office of Bret W. Schmidt, PC
Experienced Civil Forfeiture Attorney

A Brief Guide to Cash Asset Forfeiture Proceedings

Anyone will be left shocked when law enforcement seizes their money. The good news is that you can contest the cash forfeiture in court.

However, the process can be complex and challenging. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced attorney by your side who understands cash forfeiture proceedings and knows how to protect your rights.

Luckily, Bret Schmidt Law is here to help. Our skilled cash asset forfeiture attorney has years of experience handling these types of cases and will fight to get your money back. Read along as we run you through everything you need to know about cash forfeiture proceedings.

What Are Cash Asset Forfeiture Proceedings?

In basic terms, cash asset forfeiture proceedings are when law enforcement seizes your money or property because they believe it’s connected to criminal activity.

The government will then file a civil asset forfeiture case in civil court, and you’ll have to prove that your money is not connected to any illegal activity in order to get it back.

Forfeiture proceedings can be incredibly complex, and the burden of proof is on you to show that your money is not connected to any criminal activity. This means that you’ll need to have a strong legal defense in order to get your money back from a law enforcement agency.

Procedure for Cash Asset Forfeiture Proceedings

Just like any legal case, there’s a specific procedure that must be followed for federal asset forfeiture laws and proceedings. But the two classifications of this procedure follow different procedures.

Here’s the distinction between the two:

1. Uncontested Cash Asset Forfeiture

An uncontested cash asset forfeiture is a form of a summary civil forfeiture proceeding. This type of proceeding is when law enforcement agencies file a forfeiture case against you and you do not file a claim or an answer to the complaint.

The process for an uncontested cash forfeiture is as follows;

  • The government will file a complaint and notice of seizure in the appropriate court.
  • You will be served with these documents, which will notify you of the forfeiture case against you and inform you of your right to contest the forfeiture.
  • If you do not file a claim or an answer to the complaint within the required timeframe, the court will enter a default judgment against you.
  • The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether or not the government has met its burden of proof.
  • If the government meets its burden of proof, the court will order that your money be forfeited to the government and even drop criminal charges.

2. Contested cash asset forfeiture

An adversarial proceeding is a type of challenged financial forfeiture. When the government initiates a forfeiture case against you and you respond to the complaint with a claim or an answer, a forfeiture hearing takes place in accordance with the civil asset forfeiture laws.

The following is the procedure for a challenged cash forfeiture:

  • In the legal proceeding, the government will submit a complaint and notice of seizure.
  • These documents, which tell you of the forfeiture case against you and your right to oppose the forfeiture, will be served on you by federal authorities.
  • If you do submit a claim or an answer to the complaint within the requisite time frame, the court will set a briefing schedule so that the parties can present their legal arguments just like in a drug enforcement administration.
  • After that, a hearing will be held in court to decide whether or not the government has proven its case and time for a seized property.
  • The court will order that your money be forfeited to the government if the government proves its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

In summary, the difference between these two types of procedures is that in a contested forfeiture, you have the opportunity to defend yourself against the forfeiture.

This is why it’s so important to have an experienced cash asset forfeiture attorney by your side who can help you navigate the complex legal process and build a strong defense against federal law enforcement with assets forfeiture.

Risks of Traveling with Large Amounts of Cash

Having large amounts of cash can put you at risk of being targeted by law enforcement for cash forfeiture.

It is always best to avoid traveling with large amounts of cash, but if you must, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk and end up with criminal charges.

First, make sure that you’re not carrying more cash than is necessary. Second, keep your cash well hidden and in a secure location. And finally, be aware of your surroundings and who might be watching you, especially those law enforcement agents.

If you are stopped by law enforcement while carrying a large amount of cash, do not consent to a search of your belongings. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

Challenge to a Forfeiture Order

Dealing with the government can be a frustrating experience, especially if you’re fighting to get your money back. This is because the government has a very high burden of proof in cash forfeiture cases.

In order to successfully challenge a forfeiture order, you will need to hire an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal process of civil forfeiture laws and build a strong defense.

At Bret Schmidt Law, we have extensive experience challenging asset forfeiture orders and we know what it takes to get results. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with the seized property.

The Rules For Seized Cash In Federal Asset Forfeiture Cases

In federal asset forfeiture law, the government can seize cash that is believed to be connected to a crime.

The rules for what happens to seized cash are different in each state, but in general, the money must be deposited into a special account and cannot be used by law enforcement until the case is resolved. Here are the different rules for seized cash in federal asset forfeiture cases:

1. Cash Asset ForfeitureThe money must be deposited into a special account.

It is important to take note that the federal government has the right to seize your money even if you have not been charged with a crime. It must be placed in a special account, separate from the general fund.

2. The money cannot be used by law enforcement.

The money that is seized in a federal asset forfeiture case cannot be used by law enforcement until the case is resolved. However, there may be exemptions, such as if the money is needed for investigative purposes.

3. The money must be returned to the owner if they are found not guilty.

If you are found not guilty of the crime that the government alleges you committed, then the seized cash must be returned to you.

4. The government can keep the money if they prove that it is connected to a crime.

If the government is able to prove that the cash is connected to a crime, then they can keep the money. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you challenge the government’s case.

5. The government must give notice of the seizure.

The government is required to give notice of the seizure to the owner of the property within a certain period of time. This period of time varies from state to state, but it is typically within 30 days.

How Does Property Unrelated to Any Criminal Activity Get Seized & Forfeited?

There are some instances where the government can seize and forfeit property that is unrelated to any criminal activity.

For example, if the government seizes cash from someone who is suspected of drug trafficking, they can also seize and forfeit any property that is purchased with that cash. This includes houses, cars, jewelry, and other valuables.

Another example is if the government seizes cash from someone who is suspected of money laundering. In this case, they can also seize and forfeit any property that is purchased with laundered cash.

This situations usually happen when the government can show that the property was purchased with ill-gotten gains. If you are in this situation, it is important to hire an experienced attorney who can help you challenge the forfeiture or you could lose your property.

What Can I Do If My Cash Has Been Seized?

It can be very frustrating and overwhelming if your cash has been seized by the government. But during these times, you need to stay calm and take action.

The first thing you need to do is hire an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal process and build a strong defense.

We, at Bret Schmidt Law, know what it takes to succeed because of our considerable experience challenging cash asset forfeiture orders. Get in touch with us immediately for a free consultation and to find out how we can assist you.

Is There a Hearing for Cash Forfeiture?

In federal asset forfeiture cases, there is usually a hearing to determine if the government can keep the seized cash.

At the hearing, the government must prove that the cash is connected to a crime. If they are unable to do this, then the cash must be returned to the owner.

Is There a Deadline for Responding to the Petition for Cash Forfeiture?

If you plan on challenging the cash asset forfeiture, you need to act fast. There is usually a deadline for responding to the government’s petition and if you miss it, you could lose your chance to get your money back.

Hiring the best lawyer you can find is the best way to ensure that you meet all the deadlines and have the best chance of success. Bret Schmidt Law has a proven track record of success in cash forfeiture cases and we can help you too.

How Long Will It Take To Decide on My Cash Forfeiture? 

If you’re facing cash asset forfeiture, it’s important to understand that this process can take months or even years to resolve.

The length of time will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the crime that is alleged, the amount of cash that was seized, and whether you decide to challenge the forfeiture.

If you do choose to challenge the forfeiture, the procedure will most likely take longer. However, you can make sure that your rights are upheld and that you have the best chance of winning by working with a skilled lawyer like us, Bret Schmidt Law.

Still Have More Questions? Contact Bret W. Schmidt Criminal Defense Attorney

Cash Asset forfeiture is a complex legal process and if you’re facing cash forfeiture, you need an experienced lawyer on your side.

At Bret Schmidt Law, we have successfully challenged cash asset forfeitures and we can help you too. We understand what’s at stake and we will fight to protect your rights.

If you’re looking for a cash forfeiture attorney near Iowa, Texas, or an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas, Texas, Bret Schmidt Law is here to help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

FAQ

What is Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure?

Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure governs asset forfeiture in the state of Texas. It outlines the procedures that must be followed in order for the government to seize and forfeit property.

What is a forfeiture clause in an insurance policy?

A cash asset forfeiture clause in an insurance policy is a provision that allows the insurer to cancel the policy if the insured violates certain terms, such as failing to pay premiums on time. This process is also known as lapsing or voiding a policy.

What happens when a policy is surrendered for its cash value?

When a policy is surrendered for its cash value, the policyholder receives a payment from the insurer that is equal to the cash surrender value of the policy. This amount is generally less than the face value of the policy.

What is the difference between cash value and surrender value?

The cash value of a life insurance policy is the amount of money that the policyholder would receive if they surrendered the policy for its cash value. The surrender value is typically less than the cash value because it takes into account the time value of money and other factors.

The other distinction between these two values is that the cash value can be borrowed while the surrender value cannot. Policyholders can take out loans against their policies using the cash value as collateral. However, if they do this, they will accrue interest and fees that will reduce the death benefit paid to their beneficiaries.

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Attorney Bret Schmidt
4.9
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Andrew Prince
Andrew Prince
19:21 04 Feb 22
Helped me out when I needed it, I would recommend him forsure.
Nicholas M.
Nicholas M.
21:34 21 Feb 20
Bret is an amazing attorney and a great person. He has helped me and my family in so many ways. Not only is he a great lawyer but he truly cares about the people he works with and... wants the best for them. I owe Bret a great deal of gratitude for all he has done for me. I could not recommend him enough.read more
Emily M
Emily M
22:35 17 Feb 20
This guy is the BEST!!!! He is so helpful, HONEST and dependable!! He has helped my family and friends. Bret Schmidt is an outstanding attorney! The justice system is so scary and... intimidating, but if you need help from an honest person and great lawyer, Bret Schmidt is the best one out there! Thanks for all of your help, Bret!! You’re amazing!!read more
Ms. Duwrite Do
Ms. Duwrite Do
20:45 17 Feb 20
I can only say I thank God for blessing me with Bret, he has been more than legal counsel for me he has been my family! He is very considerate and compassionate and truly cares... about your well being, whether you have money or not!! I can only say if you need a great lawyer then you better give Mr. Schmidt a call, you won’t regret it!! Again you were truly God sent!!!!!read more
Rachael Proctor
Rachael Proctor
19:38 17 Feb 20
My husband and I turned to Bret when his probation was almost over, but the amount of Community Service he had was ridiculous for anyone who has to work a normal 8-5. Bret worked... with us, it was cost effective, and he had my husband take care of everything he needed to. We were able to get the Community Service hours waived and expunged of all charges. Well worth it and i wish we didn't wait 9 years to do this! Probably could have cut down probation if we'd have gone this route sooner. Thanks for being an amazing and caring attorney!read more
james opsahl
james opsahl
12:19 17 Feb 20
If I could give Mr. Schmidt a 6 star review I would. He has been my attorney for years, and has always gone the extra mile in his representation of my past issues with the... criminal justice system. Bret (I'll call him that because he is also my friend) not only provided top notch representation for me, he has been instrumental in my return to society and me maintaining sobriety and living life the way it's supposed to be lived. Bret is always available to offer advice and guidance, even though the issues I hired him to represent me on have long passed. I have found that he has concern and empathy for his clients, unlike the majority of criminal lawyers whose main concerns revolve around money. Bret is a strong family man, and a devout Christian. I am proud to call him my friend. A better attorney and man such as Bret is a rarity.read more
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Criminal Defense

When you stand accused of a crime, your liberty and freedom are at stake. To protect yourself, you need to retain a Dallas criminal defense attorney who has experience with these cases. Bret Schmidt has that experience, and he is ready to help.

Civil Asset Forfeiture

If you had property seized by police in the United States, a criminal defense attorney with experience in Civil Asset Forfeiture can help. Dallas attorney Bret Schmidt has that experience, and he is ready to help you defend your rights.

Law Office of Bret W. Schmidt, PC
900 Jackson Street Suite 635
Dallas, TX 75202

 

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Law Office of Bret W. Schmidt, PC