Has the Government served you with a ‘Notice of Seizure’?
If the Government has served you with notice that they are seizing your property, you have 20 days to file a response or the Government can seek a default judgment entitling them to possession of your money, vehicle, bank account, home, or other property. It is vital that you immediately contact David Overhuls at 713-223-8801 to defend your property against government seizure.
What is Asset Forfeiture?
Asset forfeiture is a money making machine for state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies in Houston. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office alone gets close to one million dollars a year from taking assets from citizens. Police agencies like the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department make even more.
If the State of Texas believes that your assets are linked to a crime it will file a Notice of Intended Forfeiture under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure to start a civil forfeiture process. This is called an in rem proceeding where your property is classified as the defendant in the civil proceeding (State of Texas v. $35,000 of Currency).
“What was once a crime fighting and law enforcement tool has since become a profit-making, personal account for some law enforcement officials. Instances of abuse in both the confiscation and spending of asset forfeiture proceeds have increased at alarming rates.” – Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
Are criminal charges required?
The State of Texas is not required to file criminal charges to pursue forfeiture on an individual’s assets. Even though these criminal charges may not be filed, criminal exposure still exists. It is important that your asset forfeiture attorney know how to navigate pending civil forfeiture proceedings with the knowledge that possible criminal charges exist.
What are my defenses in a forfeiture case?
The burden is on the Government to prove that the property was used to commit a crime, acquired through the commission of a crime, or purchased with proceeds of a crime. The most common defense asserted in forfeiture cases is innocent ownership. This defense claims that the owner of property seized by the Government was not aware of its illegality or that it was obtained as a result of illegal activity.
As a former special crimes prosecutor, David Overhuls has experience with asset forfeiture and how the Government handles these cases. The Overhuls Law Firm is available for a free consultation. Call our Asset Forfeiture Attorney at 713-223-8801 to defend your property from the Government.Contact David About Asset Forfeiture