Criminal forfeiture actions are court proceedings in which the property that is subject to forfeiture is named in the same indictment that charges a defendant with a criminal violation. While there is some discrepancy among the courts, it is clear that the government must meet the legal standard of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” necessary to find a defendant guilty in order to forfeit the property.
Additionally, the property may be forfeited in this way only if: (1) the defendant is found guilty of the underlying offense charged, and (2) the trier of fact determines that the property listed in the indictment was unlawfully tainted. A San Francisco white collar criminal attorney can advise and discuss with you the facts of your specific situation in detail.
Furthermore, in most cases, property seizures via criminal forfeiture may not take place until such time as the property has been actually forfeited. The district court will then issue an order to seize the property, and the seizure is then completed by the US Marshals Service. Nonetheless, exceptions to this rule exist. For instance, a seizure warrant may be utilized in specific circumstances in criminal forfeiture matters under the Controlled Substances Act and the Money Laundering Control Act. Also, criminal forfeiture laws provide for a post-forfeiture hearing by the court to consider third-party claims to the forfeited property. If you find that you need the assistance of a skilled San Francisco white collar criminal attorney, please contact Christopher Morales today for a free initial consultation.