People are often surprised to learn that their property might be forfeited if they are suspects in a crime. Police can confiscate personal assets such as vehicles or money if they are linked to suspected criminal activity. Unfortunately, even if you are completely innocent, your assets can still be forfeited to the police under Georgia law.
What is Forfeiture?
Forfeiture is the loss or giving up of something as a penalty of wrongdoing. To keep the property, the government must show that it is connected to a crime.
Losing Your Assets
In Georgia, there are two types of asset forfeiture: criminal asset and civil asset. Criminal asset forfeiture requires the property owner to be charged with a crime, whereas civil asset forfeiture does not require a charge. Police can later sell civil assets that have been forfeited to generate revenue.
In order to get your assets back, you might want to consider filing a motion. However, you must take action quickly because you only have 30 days to try to get your assets back; otherwise, your property will be forfeited to the State of Georgia.
Regaining Your Assets
In order to regain your assets, you will first have to preserve your right to the property by making a claim. You will receive a notice saying that the property is subject to Georgia forfeiture laws. You must then mail in a response within 30 days of receipt of the notice. Then you’ll need to prepare a claim and sign it under penalty of perjury attesting to your ownership of the property. The claim will need to go into the specifics surrounding the property and must detail why it should not be subject to forfeiture.
Next, your asset will face legal action to determine whether the property was involved in the alleged criminal activity.
How an Attorney Can Help
The claims process can be complicated. In order to regain your property, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. There are very specific rules that must be followed and precise timelines that must be adhered to if you want to get your property back. Waiting even one day longer will make it harder to regain your property.
For immediate assistance with your case, contact Wadkins & Wallace today.