Minnesota Asset Forfeiture Defense and Recovery
Certain criminal offenses in Minnesota can be punished not only by a fine or term of imprisonment, but also by the forfeiture of personal property or other assets that the government contends are related to the crime or were obtained as the proceeds of criminal activity. If you are facing asset forfeiture as a consequence of an arrest or conviction, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Doda & McGeeney in Rochester.
Asset forfeiture can be a separate proceeding or part of the criminal case against you, depending on the specific charge and circumstances. In drug cases, where the officers executing a search warrant or inspecting the interior of a car find large amounts of cash, the government will presume that the money is related to a pattern of drug transactions on the part of the defendant. The money will be seized in an asset forfeiture, and it will be up to the defendant to explain that the source of the cash was legitimate.
Other property that can be seized in asset forfeiture proceedings include jewelry, real estate, bank deposits, firearms, luxury goods, and even boats or aircraft. Perhaps most commonly seized, however, are motor vehicles of all kinds. Not only are illegal drugs found in cars and trucks all the time, but state law also provides for the forfeiture of vehicles used in connection with prostitution or a subsequent DWI conviction when certain circumstances exist.
Our lawyers are often successful in showing that part or all of the assets forfeited should be returned to the owner on any of several grounds, or because the property actually belonged to someone else. In the worst case, we can often negotiate a buyback of a seized motor vehicle or other property; and in the best case, that is, dismissal or acquittal of the criminal charges, we can usually get all seized property returned.
Another service peripherally related to criminal defense that we offer our clients is expungement of criminal convictions. The procedure to expunge and seal criminal records in Minnesota is complex, and only relates directly to a few specific offenses and situations. Our experienced counsel can advise you if expungement in other situations not directly addressed by our statute appears possible. We are very successful in obtaining orders of expungement for our clients once we have determined that the application stood a good chance.
To learn more about your options in an asset forfeiture or records expungement case, contact an attorney at Doda & McGeeney in Rochester.