In the past few years, we now see more and more forfeiture actions in the state of Maryland. These actions can take several forms. On the state level, officials are seeking to take vehicles, cash, homes, and other property that has any connection to certain types of crimes, most often drug violations. Federally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is aggressively seeking civil, criminal and administrative forfeitures. In fact, it has become almost standard practice in federal indictments to include a forfeiture component.
Although each type of proceeding is different, they share common characteristics. First, it is usually the case that the owner of the property must claim the property and make a showing that it was obtained by legitimate means. Second, the owner of the property will often lose his property if he sits on his hands and does not act quickly. Importantly, state and federal officials are prioritizing these actions, in part because they generate revenue that can be spent for other law enforcement activities – and a time when budget shortfalls are prevalent.
For these reasons, it is critical to obtain legal counsel if your property is the subject of a forfeiture action. At Brown Law, we have handled all different types of forfeiture proceedings. We are experienced in federal and state court and have a track record of recovering assets for our clients. Also, because of our experience in criminal defense matters, we understand the relationship between a criminal matter and a forfeiture matter – and the caution with which both must be handled.
Please contact our office immediately if your property is subject to federal forfeiture or state forfeiture in Maryland.