Government Cash Seizures During Criminal Investigations Lawyer When government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) conduct criminal investigations, they wield every tool in their arsenal. One of the most potent tools they have available is commonly referred to as criminal asset forfeiture, or the government’s ability to seize the property and assets of an individual suspected of committing federal crimes. If you have been accused of a crime and had your cash and other property seized by a government agency, it’s vital to know your rights and to secure legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A New York City cash seizure attorney can help you determine your best options for having your cash and other property returned as quickly as possible. How Can an Attorney Help Me? When you have been arrested and charged with federal crimes, the agency conducting the investigation and arrest will likely move to seize your property and assets as soon as possible. It is important to remember that while the burden of proof for the criminal charges in question still rests on the government, the evidence required for initiating criminal asset forfeiture against a defendant is much lower. The government can effectively start seizing your cash and other assets much more easily than they can conduct an arrest The criminal asset forfeiture laws in the United States aim to prevent people from profit lawbreaking and to maintain balance and integrity in the American economy. Unfortunately, this law isn’t always wielded equitably. If federal law enforcement agents seize your property and assets, an NYC cash seizure lawyer can help you build a civil action that could have your assets returned. Attempting to navigate criminal proceedings without legal counsel is never a good idea, especially if you are involved in any way with a criminal case handled by the FBI, ATF, or DEA. The federal government has vast powers and resources when it comes to processing criminal cases through these agencies, and legal representation is essential for anyone in this situation. Your attorney will help ensure your rights are protected throughout the course of the case against you and help you minimize the penalties you face. This often includes recovering any of your property that was hastily seized by federal agents. What Happened to My Money After Seizure? Anyone facing federal felony charges will likely wonder how they can hope to defend against a case from the federal government, let alone recover cash and other property seized from them. Whenever the government conducts a criminal investigation and seizes cash and other assets from a suspect, the assets are transferred to an escrow account under the custodianship of the United States Marshals Office. The United States Treasury will assume control over the escrow account once the time limit is reached for the defendant to act. Typically, a formal letter concerning the seized assets is generated within 90 days of seizure, and the defendant has only 30 days to respond before the US Treasury absorbs their seized assets. The government typically justifies its asset forfeiture procedures as a necessary part of the war on drugs and organized crime in the United States. Unfortunately, cash seizure rules are often abused, and people charged with crimes have proven their innocence only to realize their property and assets were wrongfully seized, and they have no idea how to recover them. It’s vital to take immediate action after a cash seizure and to work closely with your defense attorney to recover everything you can as quickly as possible. At the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, our New York civil rights lawyers strongly believe in ensuring that violations do not occur. If they already have, we fight for fair recourse against abuse. Call today to learn more. Getting Your Money Back Your NYC cash seizure attorney can help you respond to the formal notice concerning your seized assets and help you determine the best next steps to take. In most cases, you will need to file a civil action to prevent the government from taking complete control over your funds. Remember that your attorney should not only assist you in recovering your seized assets, but also provide you with guidance for defending against the government’s charges against you. If you are found guilty, any civil motions you have in place will likely fail, and the government will seize all of the property and assets they can connect to your illegal activities. Remember that it is illegal to launder money from illegal activities in the United States. If you were investigated for drug offenses and cash was seized by federal agents, claiming the cash as profits from illicit drug sales, you will likely face money laundering charges in addition to drug possession and sale charges. Know Your Rights One of the most common mistakes people make after an arrest by federal agents is believing there is no hope of defending against charges levied by the US government. This type of criminal case is far more daunting than a criminal case processed at the state level, but the accused still has the same rights to legal representation as anyone else. After your arrest, seek immediate legal counsel. An experienced NYC cash seizure attorney can not only help you recover your seized assets but also help you build the foundation of your defense. You must never sign anything or talk to federal investigators until you meet with a defense attorney. If you are charged with money laundering and had no idea that you were involved in any kind of illegal activity, call our firm as soon as possible. Your NYC cash seizure attorney can help you gather evidence to prove your innocence while stalling the criminal asset forfeiture procedures initiated against you. One of the worst aspects of cash seizure conducted by federal agencies is the fact that it can leave the individual without any assets at all, and thus unable to hire a defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, we understand how intimidating it can be to feel like the entire US government is working against you. We acknowledge the financial hardship that unjustified cash seizure can inflict on you and your loved ones. If you need a compassionate and dedicated NYC cash seizure lawyer, you can rely on our team to provide the guidance and support you need to make it through your case. Contact the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PPLC today to schedule a meeting with an experienced New York City cash seizure attorney. Contact our firm online 24/7 to schedule your initial case consultation.