Law enforcements can seize personal and real property from individuals under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. If this has happened to you, you must take action immediately or risk losing your property. A person whose property has been seized pursuant to the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act only has 15 days from the date of notice to request an adversarial preliminary hearing which will be held in Circuit Court. To protect your rights to your property, it is necessary to rely on the expertise of a professional such as criminal attorney, Julia G. Baginski.

As an additional concern, many seizures occur in conjunction with criminal investigations, arrests, or charges. Many times, individuals do not realize that actions and statements made in connection to their forfeiture cases may be used against them criminally. It is very important that you have a professional on your side who is able to protect your rights in all regards.

It is the policy of the state of Florida that law enforcement agencies ensure that, in all seizures made under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, their officers adhere to federal and state constitutional limitations regarding an individual’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, including, but not limited to, the illegal use of stops based on a pretext, coercive-consent searches, or a search based solely upon an individual’s race or ethnicity.

Unfortunately, as budget cuts increase throughout Florida, forfeiture is on the rise. Law enforcement agencies use proceeds from forfeitures to fund their own projects. This means they have strong financial incentives to seize property.

If you real or personal property has been seized by law enforcement, contact a criminal lawyer today.