Property Subject to Forfeiture in Drug Cases

Forfeiture is the government seizure of property connected to illegal activity. Utilized by the federal and state law enforcement in the ongoing "war on drugs," the practice has not been without controversy. Law enforcement has asserted that it is a necessary and effective deterrent to drug crime, while opponents argue that existing procedural safeguards result in too many innocent parties having their property taken away, with little or no recourse for recovery. If your property or assets have been the subject of a criminal or civil forfeiture, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal forfeiture defense attorney to understand your rights and options.

In drug cases, as in other criminal cases involving forfeiture, the following categories of property are subject to government seizure:

  • Contraband – property for which ownership itself is a crime (e.g. illegal drugs, smuggled goods)
  • Proceeds from illegal activity – property that results from, or can be traced back to, illegal activity
  • Tools or instrumentalities used in commission of crime – property used to commit a crime (e.g. cars, boats, real estate)

In addition, the government can seek a money judgment against a defendant and will seek to forfeit assets and wages that do not exist at the time of conviction but which the defendant earns or acquires in the future.

Contact Philadelphia Defense Attorney Hope Lefeber

Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Hope Lefeber is a tireless advocate for her clients' constitutional rights and devoted to respect for due process of law. She can readily identify if evidence has been unlawfully forfeited and build a strong defense on your behalf. If your rights have been violated in any way by law enforcement officials, she will employ forceful advocacy designed to obtain results.

Contact the Philadelphia law office of Hope Lefeber by calling 610-668-7927 or completing our online form. Consultations are free and confidential.

View answers to Frequently Asked Questions about drug charges.

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