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How Do I Get My Seized Property Back?

Tarrant County Asset Recovery Attorney

Dallas Seized Asset Recovery Attorneys

Law enforcement can use civil asset forfeiture to seize cash, a vehicle, personal belongings, or even a house if they believe property has or will be involved in a crime. In Texas, an asset forfeiture proceeding is civil. Prosecutors charge the property, not the owner, with involvement in a crime. Judicial forfeiture by the court does not require criminal action. Instead, it is a proceeding filed in court against the property in question.

If your property has been seized by a law enforcement agency in Texas, the team at Spencer & Associates is ready and willing to help you. We will work hard to get your property back as quickly as possible.

The Process of Civil Forfeiture in Texas

Civil asset forfeiture laws have been used for decades in Texas. These laws were originally intended to take down criminal organizations by seizing their assets so they can no longer operate. Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have abused civil asset forfeiture programs in the past. In many cases, innocent Texas residents or those visiting the state lose their property because they lack knowledge of civil forfeiture laws and the proper proceedings to challenge them. Many people do not realize that you can lose your property through civil forfeiture even if you have never been convicted of a crime.

When a person receives a civil forfeiture notice, the notice will provide a time frame to file an objection. It is crucial that you file an objection within the timeframe, or you could lose your right to object to the forfeiture of your property. As soon as you receive a notice that your property will be seized, we recommend contacting an experienced asset forfeiture lawyer. At Spencer & Associates, we will provide you with a strong forfeiture defense and fight for your right to keep your property. Although it may seem challenging, it is possible to defend against forfeiture of your property successfully.

Getting Your Property Back After a Civil Forfeiture in Texas

Civil asset forfeiture is controversial, mainly because a person does not need to be charged with a crime to have their assets seized. Thankfully, United States citizens are entitled to protection under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment allows those who have been victims of police seizures an opportunity for a hearing. After a police officer has seized property, the state has 30 days to file a lawsuit. The state will take civil action against the property itself, not the property owner.

The property owner will be served with the petition for the lawsuit. The owner will receive notice that the state intends to seize the property. They will have to file an answer challenging the forfeiture. Failure to file an answer can result in the property automatically being turned over to the state. An experienced attorney can help the property owner fight against forfeiture by raising various defenses. The property owner can claim that the state cannot prove that the property was used or intended to be used for a crime or that it was the proceeds of a crime by a preponderance of the evidence.

Discuss Your Civil Forfeiture Case With a Dallas Attorney

You have rights if your property has been seized through civil forfeiture in Texas. Contact the offices of Spencer & Associates as soon as possible to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Call 469-283-6126 to schedule an appointment today. We serve clients throughout North Texas, including in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, and the surrounding areas.

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