Asset Seizure & Forfeiture Actions
Oklahoma Asset Seizure & Forfeiture Actions
The Oklahoma Legislature and the U.S. Congress have authorized the seizure and forfeiture of assets obtained with criminally derived proceeds. Or when using the asset to assist in a crime. The best examples are the seizure of a car used to transport illegal drugs. Or the seizure of money associated with drugs or other crimes. The seizure of a farm used to grow marijuana, or seizure of weapons. There are many grounds for seizure under both state and federal law. The standards are different for federal and state courts. So it is important to know what agency seized the property. Additionally, it’s important to know the federal and state forfeiture laws.
To forfeit the seized property under state or federal law, the owners receive notification and a due process hearing held. This is before the ownership can pass to either the state or federal governments. The Wyatt Law Office has represented dozens of people challenging forfeiture and seizure. There are several defenses to forfeiture depending on the circumstances. We can help you examine the issues and develop a defense. Next we will determine whether to pursue the assets in a forfeiture action or refer you to other counsel.
Under federal law, it is routine to see a criminal forfeiture “charge” filed along with other substantive charges. For example, in drug cases, the U.S. Attorney will charge the drug conspiracy. But also will charge a “forfeiture” count seeking to forfeit any ill-gotten gains from the so-called criminal activity. I.e., the drug conspiracy or enterprise.
FORFIETURE vs. RESTITUTION
It is critical to understand that “forfeiture” and “restitution” are two different concepts. The intended purpose of restitution is to restore a victim to his previous state before the crime. Forfeiture, on the other hand, is a “taking” by the government of any proceeds or benefits of a criminal act. Generally, forfeited funds or assets are NOT applied to restitution.
FORFEITURE OF CAR FOR 3rd FELONY DUI or APC
As of November 2014, if the State charges you with a third felony DUI or APC, they can forfeit your car. That means that the State can try to take away your car and suspend your license. there is no “innocent spouse” defense for a subsequent DUI. Because the spouse is theoretically aware of the prior DUI or APC offenses. (APC is “actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence. Merely possessing the keys and having access to the car is enough). See our DUI page.
Contact Wyatt Law Office for defense against your DUI charges.
*Note: Results may vary because each case must be decided on its own unique facts and the law applicable to that given case. You should not infer the likelihood of success on a given case based on past cases handled by this firm.