Asset Seizures & Forfeiture in L.A. Criminal Cases

Have You Lost Property During a Criminal Case in Los Angeles, CA?

According to state and federal forfeiture law, the government has the right to seize any assets or property believed to be in connection with a criminal activity. This means that police can legally take possession of your car, home, cash, jewelry, or other assets for as long as they want, even if you have not been charged with a crime.

In order to get the property back, a person in California would have to file a claim within 30 days of receiving notice of forfeiture proceedings. After 30 days, it may not be possible to fight to get the property returned. That is why if you are facing forfeiture, it is in your best interests to immediately get in touch with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners. We may be able to increase your chances of your property being returned to you in a timely manner.

The California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act

The "California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act” (California Penal Code Section 186) exists to help deter crime by removing the element of profit. In order to do this, the government is allowed to seize any property that they believe may have been obtained illegally or used for an illegal purpose. Federal laws contain over 100 forfeiture categories, involving tax evasion, forgery, drug crimes, pornography, and money laundering. There are a large number of forfeiture laws particularly aimed at drug crimes, including trafficking and illegal cultivation of drug plants on a piece of land.

What Kinds of Property are Subject to Forfeiture in Drug Cases?

Police may confiscate any of the following items related to the possession, manufacture, distribution, and/or sale of illicit drugs and controlled substances:

  • Equipment used to distribute or produce the drug
  • The controlled substances/drugs themselves
  • Research products and records
  • Containers used to store the drugs
  • Monetary profits from the sale of drugs
  • Any vehicles used for drug distribution
  • Real estate

The Right Defense Lawyer Can Make All the Difference

If you are facing confiscation of your property pursuant to this statute, you have a right to fight back! The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners are prepared to aggressively represent you in any type of asset forfeiture proceeding. Our experienced team stands ready to pursue all available options for your defense to bring you the best outcome possible. We do this by:

  • Taking immediate action to challenge any seizures of property or other assets
  • Filing all court documents necessary to challenge the forfeiture
  • Locating and preparing witnesses who can support your case
  • Hiring forensic accountants and other experts who can prove that the funds used to purchase your property came from legitimate sources

Potential Defenses Against Asset Seizure

There are a few defenses that can be applied to forfeiture cases. One defense is the “innocent owner” exemption, which argues that the owner of the property did not know that their property was obtained through illegal means. Similarly, the owner of a piece of land or rental property may not have known that illegal activity was being conducted on the property.

In order for the prosecution to be successful, they have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the owner of the property was in fact aware of the illegal activity in connection with the property.

If the government has taken your property, or even if you have just received notice, you have a right secure legal defense. We urge you to act immediately to ensure that your rights are fully protected!

Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners for a free consultation. You have no time to waste!