Under Florida Statute 932.703, any contraband article, vessel, motor vehicle, aircraft, other personal property or real property used in violation of any provision of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act may be seized and forfeited subject to the provisions of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. A similar provision under federal law is known as the Comprehensive Crime Control Act.
You may be asking "what does this mean for me?"
If you have been issued a written notice of seizure and forfeiture by the State or a Federal agency you should contact an attorney immediately. In Florida, you only have 15 days to request a hearing to ensure that you have an opportunity to assert your rights. If the Federal Government (the United States) is seeking forfeiture of your assets you have even less time - 10 days! Essentially, the State or Federal Government is attempting to prevent you, the owner of property, from obtaining a profit through alleged or suspected criminal activity. Often times, "innocent owners" may be caught in the middle of these actions as well.
The State and Federal Constitution guarantee you due process of law. This means that you are entitled to a hearing before you can be deprived of property. If the state is trying to seize your assets through the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act or the Federal government is coming after you through the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, call a Tampa Criminal Defense lawyer at Taracks & Associates today. There are many defenses to these allegations that an experienced criminal defense attorney can assert. For example:
- Was there probable cause to believe that the property was used, is being used, was attempted to be used, or was intended to be used in violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act?
- Was the property registered between husband and wife jointly?
- Was the vehicle in question rented or leased from a company engaged in the business of renting or leasing vehicles?
- Was the nexus between the property sought to be forfeited and the commission of any underlying violation of law incidental or accidental?
- Was the property in question titled or registered jointly to a co-owner other than a spouse?
Our staff is comprised of three former prosecutors with the knowledge, tools, and experience necessary to fight the Government's case against you. We will represent you through your hearing and will fight to help you keep your assets. Please call us today at 813-281-2897 or visit www.TheAdvocateForYou.com for more information. Act fast - the clock is ticking. Remember, a consultation with one of our Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys is always free of charge. Taracks & Associates - The Advocate For You.