Asset Forfeiture

Asset Forfeiture

Asset forfeiture is the confiscation of property by the United States Government, the State of California or any other state or government entity which are alleged to be either the proceeds of crime or the instrumentalities of crime. Instrumentalities of a crime is property alleged to have been used to facilitate crime. Cars, boats and airplanes are such examples when alleged to have been used to transport illegal drugs, narcotics or currency. The terminology used in different jurisdictions varies.

There has been a growing trend for the federal government and the state to use civil forfeiture proceedings to take the incentive out of committing criminal acts. However, asset forfeiture proceedings frequently go too far. For example, currency is often seized at the airport by Federal Agents pursuant to the provisions of Title 31, Unitesd States Code (U.S.C.) section 5317 (search and forfeiture of monetary instruments), 31 U.S.C. 5316 (reports on exporting and/or importing monetary instruments), or 31 U.S.C. 5332 (bulk cash smuggling).

Proponents of forfeiture and seizure proceedings suggest that it is a necessary tool to take an incentive out of drug trafficking and other crimes. Opponents to forfeiture point out the reduced standards for conviction, and financial conflicts of interests arising when the law enforcement agencies who decide whether or not to seize assets stand to keep those assets for themselves.

The trend towards civil forfeiture

The traditional approach to crime is arrest and prosecution, with a view to conviction and imprisonment. Forfeiture proceedings introduce an additional element to the criminal process. In civil forfeiture cases, the US Government or State of California initiates legal action against the item of property, not the person. The owner is effectively relegated to being a third party claimant. Once the government establishes probable cause that the property is subject to forfeiture, the owner must prove that the property is not.

The Law Office of Robert Tayac is dedicated to helping citizens that are victims of overzealous civil asset forfeitures initiated by local, state and federal law enforcement. Everyone is innocent of any wrongdoing unless proven otherwise.  We believe you deserve full and unrestricted access to the money you have earned and the property you have purchased. If your assets have been seized by the government, our office will fight to get them returned to you.

Mr. Tayac practices law in California in all state and Federal Courts. He negotiates with representatives of the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration arbitration units, Department of Homeland Security border patrol arbitration units, and applicable state agencies to petition for the return of his client’s cash or property.

Many deadlines exist in forfeiture proceedings. Failure to comply with these deadlines may result in abandonment of an interest in the property which has been seized.  For that reason, it is important to contact an experienced asset seizure attorney immediately.

If your assets have been seized by any local, state or federal agency, we may be able to help you. This office will accept cases where the property seized exceeds $50,000 in value or the to the currency seized is $10,000 or more. Complete the form on this page or call 415-552-6000 for a free no obligation consultation.