Criminal Forfeiture

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An Annapolis Criminal Forfeiture Lawyer Can Help You Recover Improperly Seized Items

Tough advocacy when your possessions are seized by the government

The government frequently tries to seize all profits from a crime and any items that were used, directly or indirectly, to help the in the commission of a crime. The government has to follow state and federal rules. The owners of the property do have some rights to due process, including being informed of the seizure and the right to contest the seizure. Some of the items often seized include drug paraphernalia, counterfeit plates, weapons, and narcotics. Homes, cars, and cash may also be seized.

Whether your property was taken as a result of a criminal or civil process, as an experienced Annapolis criminal forfeiture attorney, Gill Andrew Cochran can help. I understand the state and federal forfeiture laws, what rights owners have to get their property back, and which forums to use to contest the seizures. Trust Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law with your case.

Types of forfeitures

Forfeiture is a long-standing procedure that allows the government to seize assets so that future crimes cannot be committed. The items that are seized are usually sold, except for illegal items such as narcotics and the money kept by the government. So forfeiture law is more than just a preventative measure — it is a source of income for the state. Assets that are often seized include:

  • Cars, boats, planes, trucks, and other vehicles
  • Bank accounts and cash
  • Houses and investment properties

A criminal forfeiture follows any conviction of a state or federal crime. The seizure is meant to punish the person who commits the crime.

A civil forfeiture is often more sweeping and does not require a conviction. It generally requires just probable cause that the property was either used in a crime or was part of the profit of the crime. Civil forfeiture actions are technically brought against the property instead of the owner or defendant.

Because civil forfeitures have less strict standards, the US Department of Justice and the state of Maryland often use civil forfeiture to confiscate assets. This is especially true in drug cases and is often initiated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Some of the ways forfeitures can be challenged

The easiest way to defeat the possibility of a criminal forfeiture is to win the underlying criminal case. As an experienced attorney, I have helped many Maryland defendants obtain not-guilty verdicts or dismissals throughout the state.

In civil cases, the government does not have to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. It only has to prove that it is more likely than not that the items seized were related to criminal activity. In drug cases, there is a presumption that the property was seized correctly and the burden is on the owner of the property to prove otherwise. Until there is a decision in the owner’s favor, the government keeps the property. The civil process in forfeiture cases is similar to other civil proceedings — there are depositions, motions, and at the end there is usually a trial.

There is also a danger in a civil case that the person seeking the goods could be charged with some form of criminal violation. An experienced Annapolis criminal forfeiture attorney can help guide you through this dangerous process, including advising you about the risks of testifying under oath.

Get professional help from a skilled Annapolis criminal defense lawyer

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law understands the defenses that apply in seizure cases. I may argue that someone else is the owner. I may be able to show a conflict of interest. I may work to show that there are not sufficient grounds for asserting that a crime has been committed. You should know that time is crucial. There are time limits, and delay can mean an inability to speak to witnesses. For help with your criminal or civil forfeiture, please call me at 410-777-8103 or complete my contact form.

And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.

Contact Me Now For A Free Consultation

Call Now For A FREE Consultation To Discuss Your Case
Call Drew Cochran Directly 410-777-8103

Our Testimonials

Client

I want to thank you for your representation of [our] case. You did a wonderful job in bringing the truth to the jury. You were magnificent in the court room. You gave us our day in court. Thank You.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-17T12:54:27+00:00

~ Client

I want to thank you for your representation of [our] case. You did a wonderful job in bringing the truth to the jury. You were magnificent in the court room. You gave us our day in court. Thank You.

Client

Thank you for guiding me through this process. You were efficient and results oriented but also understanding of my bigger picture. I appreciate your patience in listening to my concerns. However, at the end of the day, results matter and you provided the best results for a very serious matter. I would recommend you to anyone facing a district court matter.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-17T12:53:19+00:00

~ Client

Thank you for guiding me through this process. You were efficient and results oriented but also understanding of my bigger picture. I appreciate your patience in listening to my concerns. However, at the end of the day, results matter and you provided the best results for a very serious matter. I would recommend you to anyone facing a district court matter.

Client

We wanted to sincerely thank you for all you did to help [our child] through this difficult phase of his life. The additional time that you spent and your effort to take a personal interest in his welfare and progress was certainly far beyond what one would expect. We are most grateful and pleased with your professional services but let's hope we don't have to rely on them in the future.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-17T12:53:57+00:00

~ Client

We wanted to sincerely thank you for all you did to help [our child] through this difficult phase of his life. The additional time that you spent and your effort to take a personal interest in his welfare and progress was certainly far beyond what one would expect. We are most grateful and pleased with your professional services but let's hope we don't have to rely on them in the future.

Client

The best lawyer I ever had or dealt with. Very easy to communicate and always able to speak to you without having you wait for days for an answer. Every time he has said something he will take care of that day he actually has done it and took care of it. 

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-02T18:41:06+00:00

~ Client

The best lawyer I ever had or dealt with. Very easy to communicate and always able to speak to you without having you wait for days for an answer. Every time he has said something he will take care of that day he actually has done it and took care of it. 

Client

Drew Cochran is an outstanding defense attorney. Seasoned, savvy, and smart, he knows the law and understands how to apply it to get the maximum benefit for his client. He keeps his eye on the big picture—getting the best results possible—while attending to the smallest details to ensure success. He is accessible, responsive, and user-friendly, while communicating clearly with the client. And with a fair, single-fee, cost structure for his services, he is also cost-effective and economical, and doesn’t “keep the hourly-rate meter running” for the time he invests in the case. If you’re looking for a super-effective attorney who can get results even against the odds, Drew Cochran should be your choice. Sign me VHC for Very Happy Client

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2017-11-16T15:00:24+00:00

~ Client

Drew Cochran is an outstanding defense attorney. Seasoned, savvy, and smart, he knows the law and understands how to apply it to get the maximum benefit for his client. He keeps his eye on the big picture—getting the best results possible—while attending to the smallest details to ensure success. He is accessible, responsive, and user-friendly, while communicating clearly with the client. And with a fair, single-fee, cost structure for his services, he is also cost-effective and economical, and doesn’t “keep the hourly-rate meter running” for the time he invests in the case. If you’re looking for a super-effective attorney who can get results even against the odds, Drew Cochran should be your choice. Sign me VHC for Very Happy Client

Client

This is a lawyer that cares about who you are and helping you through the situation. Dealing with such life impacting challenge can be overwhelming, yet Mr. Cochran treats you like family and takes his time to understand your case as well as how it is impacting you. He provides exceptional law support based upon his years of experience and knowledge. Mr. Cochran is someone that you want on your side.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2017-03-24T14:01:06+00:00

~ Client

This is a lawyer that cares about who you are and helping you through the situation. Dealing with such life impacting challenge can be overwhelming, yet Mr. Cochran treats you like family and takes his time to understand your case as well as how it is impacting you. He provides exceptional law support based upon his years of experience and knowledge. Mr. Cochran is someone that you want on your side.
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