Salt Lake City Asset Forfeiture Attorney
Effective Negotiation to Give Back What’s Yours. Free Consultation!
Certain laws allow the government to seize your assets when they are deemed contraband, or assets used in the commission of a crime or purchased with the proceeds of a crime. The government uses forfeited assets to fund law enforcement and community projects.
I have the skills and competence required to represent people who have had many different types of assets seized by the government:
- Contraband, including illegal drugs and smuggled goods
- Houses and real estate
If your assets have been seized, I, Catherine Cleveland, can help. Not many attorneys handle asset forfeiture cases, but throughout my 15+ years of experience, I have earned a proven track record for helping clients successfully resolve their issues and regain their hard-earned assets.
What Is Asset Forfeiture?
The FBI defines asset forfeiture as “ … a powerful tool used by law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, against criminals and criminal organizations to deprive them of their ill-gotten gains through the seizure of these assets … it is used to disrupt, dismantle, and deter those who prey on the vulnerable for financial gain, including criminal organizations, drug dealers, terrorists, and white-collar criminals.”
The FBI justifies their use of asset forfeiture as a means to do the following:
- To punish criminals
- To deter illegal activity
- To disrupt criminal organizations
- To remove the tools of the trade from criminals
- To return assets to victims
- To protect communities
Asset forfeiture laws provide an incentive for police to pursue money launderers and other alleged criminals because a large percentage of the money earned from the sale of forfeited assets is invested in local police departments. This has led to an increase in asset forfeiture cases in Utah and throughout the United States because police departments rely on convictions as a way to earn money.
Criminal vs. Civil Forfeiture: Know the Difference
There are two different types of forfeiture: Criminal and civil. The type you experience depends on the circumstances of your case.
Criminal forfeiture is a measure taken against a defendant after a conviction for a crime. In criminal forfeiture, the government seizes property as part of your sentence, but constitutional protections apply. Before prosecutors can take your property, they must show that it was more likely than not — by a preponderance of the evidence — that you obtained the property around the time of the crime and that it was unlikely that it came from any other source. This is not a very difficult standard for prosecutors to prove.
Civil forfeiture is a measure taken against the property itself — not the owner. No criminal conviction is necessary before the property can be taken; the government only needs to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was involved in a crime.
Call a Trusted Asset Forfeiture Defense Lawyer at (801) 448-0683
When your property is on the line, your livelihood and peace of mind can suffer. To combat the likelihood of your property being seized, I will fiercely negotiate for a fair settlement. Further, I can exhaust hard-hitting defense strategies that support your best interests by compelling the judge to deem you innocent. My goal is to help you keep your rightful assets so you can move forward as smoothly as possible.
Arrange a free consultation with me today!
Former Judge Pro Tem
Highly Respected in the Legal Community
Work Directly With Me From Beginning to End
Aggressive, Hands-On Approach to Each Case