If you are arrested on a felony charge, such as drug possession or DUI, it is possible that the police may seize your car or other property under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. This is happening with greater frequency throughout the state. If you are facing charges that have also caused property to be seized or forfeited, turn to attorney Bruce Denson at The Denson Firm.
With years of experience and a focus on handling criminal law issues, attorney Denson can help you understand your rights and determine the best way in which to seek the reinstatement of your property. To learn more about forfeiture and property seizure, contact our office today.
Phones answered 24-hours a day. Please call (727) 896-7000 for a free initial confidential consultation with an experienced Florida forfeiture lawyer. We return all calls promptly.
Given the highly penalizing nature of a seizure and short timelines, it is important that you have a lawyer that is prepared to quickly contest these state actions. It is crucial that you be prepared to fight each step in the seizure and forfeiture process. While likelihood of success in the adversarial preliminary hearing may be low, it is possible to prevail. Also, it is a key hearing in fighting the forfeiture and a good tool for gaining evidence in the pending criminal case.
Under Florida laws that govern the seizure of property, personal property may be seized at the time of a violation or arrest or subsequent to the violation. Whether delivered in person or by certified mail, the notice must state that a person entitled to notice may request an adversarial preliminary hearing within fifteen (15) days after receiving such notice.
There are time constraints under which you must file a motion to request an adversarial preliminary hearing. Contact our firm today to get started on your case.
Adversarial Preliminary Hearing
An adversarial preliminary hearing is a hearing in which you request that the court determine whether there was probable cause to proceed with the seizure of your property as a result of your arrest or felony charges. To request an adversarial preliminary hearing, the claimant must make the request in a timely manner and send it by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the seizing agency. There are no formal requirements for the form of the request for an adversarial preliminary hearing. Attorney Denson can explain the request and how it may be advantageous to request a hearing as soon as possible.
As an alternative to fighting the forfeiture, your attorney may ask the seizing agency if you can buy back their property prior to the preliminary adversarial hearing. Another solution may be an agreed upon plea in the associated criminal case predicated on the return of the vehicle. You may able to obtain a reduced price for buying back the property by entering into early negotiations.
If you are successful in challenging a seizure at the adversarial preliminary hearing, you are entitled to fees and costs from the seizing agency, up to a limit of $1,000.00.
To further discuss your vehicle seizure, drug charge or forfeiture questions, contact The Denson Firm today.
St. Petersburg Forfeiture Attorney
Florida Property Seizure Lawyer
05/09/2013 12:19 PM
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