Civil asset forfeiture laws essentially allow the government to take your property from you. When law enforcement believes there is a “substantial connection” between money, cars, boats, houses or other property and criminal activity, generally involving drug offenses, Virginia law allows law enforcement officials to seize that property and then ask the Circuit Court, in a forfeiture action, to transfer title of the property to the government. You read that correctly. Virginia law allows the government to take your property from you and allows the Circuit Court to give your property to the government if the government proves the necessary connection to qualifying criminal activity.
When the government is seeking to seize and keep property through a forfeiture action, there are specific things the government must do, and specific time frames within which these things must be done. Similarly, there are also things the property owner must do, and specific time frames within which they must be done, so it is important that you act quickly to protect your property. Failure to act can lead to you being found in default and losing your opportunity to fight. If you have had property seized by law enforcement, call The Wilson Law Firm now. Our experienced legal team will help you keep your assets where they belong—with you.