According to thecentersquare.com, “New Jersey legislators received a near-failing grade in a recent nationwide report that examined how each state addresses civil asset forfeiture laws.” After examining New Jersey’s civil forfeiture laws, the state received a “D-“. So, what is civil asset forfeiture, and what do you do if your assets are seized? Read on to learn more.
What is Civil Asset Forfeiture?
New Jersey law enforcement officers can take your property if they believe it was involved in a criminal act. Civil asset forfeiture refers to the process under which any proceeds from illegal activity, property that is integral to the illegal acts, and property used in committing a crime are all subject to seizure under the New Jersey Forfeiture Law.
What Property Can Be Seized in New Jersey?
New Jersey law enforcement officers can seize the following:
- Any proceeds from illegal activity, such as cash from a drug deal
- Property that is integral to the illegal acts, like money financing illegal gambling
- Property used in committing a crime, such as an automobile used to transport illegal drugs
What is the Process of Civil Asset Forfeiture?
If the property is not an illegal item, such as drugs, weapons, etc., the State will file a civil lawsuit detailing why the item was linked to a crime or considered contraband. The State must also establish the connection between the criminal act and the defendant and they must be dependant on one another.
What Do I Do if my Assets are Seized?
It is important to know that if the owner of the property that was seized was not involved or even aware of the criminal acts that occurred, he or she cannot be held responsible. Unfortunately, you will have to prove that you were not involved and/or unaware. This can be difficult to do. If your assets have been seized, it is important to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one has had your assets seized as a result of civil asset forfeiture in New Jersey, reach out to our firm today. We will advocate for you every step of the way.
Contact our Firm
The dedicated and compassionate attorneys at Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. would be happy to provide you with assistance in your case and help you protect your future when so much is on the line. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so we can assess the specific circumstances surrounding your lawsuit.