As a criminal defense law firm, San Diego Defenders has represented countless clients over the years charged with DUI's, border busts, drugs and other related incidents. However, in the past several years, the firm has seen a significant uptick in asset seizure cases involving state and government agencies confiscating assets from clients. Also known as civil forfeiture, this highly controversial area of law involves the seizure of cash and property if an individual is merely suspected of a crime.
“Civil forfeitures are on the rise and many times, those who've had their property taken are confused, scared and unsure about how to get it back,” said Dan Smith, founder of San Diego Defenders, who handles forfeiture cases both state and nationwide.
“In these cases, time is of the essence and individuals have only thirty days from the date of seizure publication to take action before it's too late,” he added.
Law enforcement agencies have been using asset seizures as a mechanism to legally take property without the need to convict individuals of a crime. Only a preponderance of the evidence is required and while there are legitimate circumstances that justify property confiscation, many innocent people often become victims of this process.
San Diego Defenders recently handled cases involving a suspected drug mule who had her vehicle confiscated, as well as a self-employed business owner who was walking into Mexico with $11,000 in cash to pay his employees. Both clients were innocent and Smith's firm was successful in getting their property returned.
“Asset forfeitures are a big revenue source for the government and unfortunately, they can be subject to abuse,” noted Smith. “We fight for individuals who have been unfairly caught in a system that is long overdue for reform.”
For more information, visit https://ForfeitureLawFirm.com or call 619-258-8888.
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