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Dallas Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney

Fort Worth Asset Forfeiture Attorneys

Texas Civil Asset Forfeiture Lawyer Serving Dallas

You may have seen examples of asset seizures on television or in the movies, so it might not be a surprise to learn that law enforcement can seize property or assets that were acquired through illicit means. However, did you know that you could lose your property forever even if you are never convicted of a crime?

At the Dallas law firm of Spencer & Associates, we realize that state and federal laws allow the seizure of property that was used to commit a crime or acquired with "dirty money," but we know that law enforcement agencies often get too ambitious. When this happens, our team will help you protect your constitutional rights and get your property back as soon as possible.

Trusted Asset Recovery Counsel

Under Texas law, law enforcement agencies are permitted to seize contraband. As you probably realize, contraband includes things such as controlled substances and drug manufacturing enterprises. However, it is important to understand that the law in Texas defines contraband as any property, including real property, personal property, tangible property, or intangible property that was used to commit or facilitate a crime. This broad definition of contraband and the breadth of the civil asset forfeiture statute give the police the ability to seize property that has little or nothing to do with a criminal investigation.

Alleged contraband may include, but is not limited to:

  • Drugs or illicit substances
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Cash
  • Vehicles
  • Land
  • Buildings
  • Mobile phones
  • Computers

When law enforcement seizes property that is believed to be connected to a crime, the state has 30 days to file a lawsuit in civil court regarding the alleged contraband. This civil action is filed against the property itself instead of against the property owner. The owner of the property is served with the notice of the civil action, and he or she must file an answer within the allotted time to challenge the forfeiture. A failure to respond is likely to lead to default judgment and a forfeiture of the property to the state.

If the property owner files a challenge, the case will move to a civil trial. At trial, the state must prove that the property is, in fact, contraband. While asset forfeiture cases may be related to criminal cases, they are handled in civil court instead of criminal court. This means that there are different rules and procedures, as well as a different burden of proof. To secure a conviction in criminal court, prosecutors must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In order for the property to be forfeited after a seizure, the court must only find that the property was connected to a crime by a preponderance of the evidence—a much lower standard than the one used in criminal court.

Asset Seizure and Forfeiture

Attorney Arnold Spencer has the experience and background to handle asset forfeiture cases. He and his team fully understand the seizure and forfeiture process and are ready to help you claim and recover your property. Because such cases are handled in civil court, property owners are not entitled to an appointed public defender. If your property has been seized by law enforcement, it is important to call an attorney right away so that you do not miss your chance to get your property back.

The process of recovering seized assets can be complex and overwhelming, and a single mistake could lead to the permanent forfeiture of your property. If you are also facing criminal charges related to the case, things can be even more complicated. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that a person cannot be "deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." At our firm, we are committed to helping you protect your constitutional rights, as well as your rights to your property. We will work hard to get your assets returned to you quickly and without unnecessary complications.

Call 469-283-6126 Today

To learn more about our firm and how we can help you recover seized assets before they are forfeited, contact our office. Call 469-283-6126 for a free consultation and case review. We represent clients in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, Euless, Aledo, Mansfield, North Richland Hills, Dallas County, Tarrant County, and throughout North Texas.

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