There are many instances of asset forfeitures and cash seizures being carried out by Alabama and federal authorities. But not all of these seizures of property are lawful. In fact, police cannot simply take whatever they want of a defendant’s assets during a search and arrest operation.

The U.S. Constitution demands due process prior to any kind of government-lead forfeiture. Therefore, the government officials must notify the individual about the forfeiture proceedings. The government also needs to give the owners of the property the ability to be heard — and to speak up to defend their property rights.

Here are a few things that property owners should keep in mind about their rights during any type of seizure:

No cost bonds: Owners don’t need to file cost bonds with a claim.

Right to notice: The DEA needs to send notice letters to interested parties within 60 days following the seizure operations in most cases.

Publication: The DEA has to advertise the seizure on the internet for a period of 30 days.

Proof: The government has to prove the case against the seized asset via a preponderance of supporting facts. This is the same standard of evidence that is legally required for civil trials.

If you’ve had your assets seized as a part of a major or serious crimes investigation, it’s vital that you act as quickly as possible so that they don’t get lost by the police or so that they don’t go missing because an officer failed to report them. Our law firm can help you defend your property rights after a seizure.