If you are facing civil forfeiture proceedings as a result of an alleged criminal offense, you can discuss your case with an attorney at our Fort Worth criminal defense law firm. These actions follow the same process as other civil actions, including a complaint, a response, discovery, interrogatories where applicable, depositions and summary judgment rulings. Your attorney might want to depose the investigating agents in the case. However, the plan could backfire as you might need to submit to extensive interrogatories and depositions.
Factors to Consider Before Contesting a Forfeiture
While the government bears the burden of proof, you still need to clearly show that you own the property in question. Consider the following before making a final decision: Do you need this property as your primary residence, for business purposes or to pay your lawyer. If you can show hardship, the court might release the property. Will litigating your criminal case affect your forfeiture? If the facts of your criminal case are established, your forfeiture might not be affected.
Check with your criminal defense lawyer for clarification on if litigation could impact your forfeiture. Can contesting the forfeiture affect your criminal case and a possible plea deal? Federal and state legislation do not permit manipulation through forfeiture in order to force you to agree to a plea. On the other hand, a favorable plea might convince the government to more favorably resolve the forfeiture, including the possible credit of some assets toward restitution payments. Are you a third party who is not facing litigation? Your criminal defense law firm will advise you further regarding litigation as you can fight for your property without fear of reprisal.
Reach Out to Our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Law Firm
Our criminal defense lawyer in Fort Worth at the Law Office of Bryan P. Hoeller can provide you with additional information about the litigation of a forfeiture.