During the course of criminal investigations, an individual’s personal property may be subject to seizure by the government. Even in the absence of a criminal conviction, the government may bring a criminal or civil forfeiture action. In an effort to achieve a favorable outcome for his client, Mr. Berne integrates his command of the forfeiture statutes with a vigorous promotion of the individual’s interest in the seized property.
Civil forfeiture actions are particularly problematic since they occur when law enforcement seizes assets from individuals suspected of criminal activity, who are never charged with a crime. Such actions may seek forfeiture of automobiles, homes, and cash that are claimed to be instrumental in or fruits of criminal conduct. One particularly egregious example is the seizure of cash from individuals carrying money through TSA security sites or waiting for flights at domestic airports. Technically, civil forfeiture actions are against the property, rather than the person, but such issues as whether the property was lawfully seized still apply. We have been successful in securing the release of property wrongfully seized and/or reaching negotiated settlements resulting in the return of substantial portions of cash that has been seized.
Contact The Law Office of Richard S. Berne a Portland Maine Criminal Attorney if you believe you are a victim of civil forfeiture. Let us fight for your rights and your property.