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Asset Forfeiture | Defense Attorney Michael Schmiege

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Asset Forfeiture

The government may choose to penalize you by seizing any assets or property that were obtained as a result of illegal activity. Call to discuss your case.

Chicago Criminal Lawyer

If convicted of a federal crime, you may face time in prison along with fines and other penalties. In addition to pursuing criminal action against you, the federal government may also choose to penalize you by seizing any assets or property that were obtained as a result of illegal activity.

Asset forfeiture is a civil matter and the government may choose to seize your assets in conjunction with or independently of a criminal trial. If you’re facing asset forfeiture in connection with a federal crime or your home, bank accounts or other assets have already been seized, you must act quickly to secure the services of a skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney.

What assets can be seized through forfeiture?

The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for enforcing asset forfeiture orders issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Under DOJ guidelines, there is a wide array of property and assets that may be seized and these assets typically fall into three primary categories.

  • Contraband property – Contraband refers to products or goods that are illegal to import, export or otherwise possess. In terms of federal asset forfeiture, the U.S. Marshals may seize illegal firearms or other weapons, drugs or other items that have been smuggled into the country illegally.
  • Proceeds from the crime – Federal law enforcement officials may also take action to seize assets or property that was acquired as a result of a criminal act. For example, your bank account can be seized if the government believes the funds were generated through money laundering, embezzlement or illegal gambling.
  • Property used to commit the crime – Finally, any property or item that was used to perpetuate a criminal act may also be subject to asset forfeiture. This may include cars, boats, airplanes, homes, computer equipment, cell phones, etc.

It’s important to note that when the federal government initiates an asset forfeiture, the claim is made against the property itself, rather than its actual owner. This means that if you own a car, home or other property that was used to commit a crime, this property can be seized, regardless of whether you were aware of the crime or participated in its commission. The federal government bears the responsibility of showing probable cause to support the forfeiture claim. You must be able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property or asset in question is not connected to any criminal act in order to retain your ownership of it.

If You’ve Been Served With an Asset Forfeiture Notice

If you receive a notice from the government in regards to the seizure of your assets or property, it’s critical that you contact a qualified Federal Asset Forfeiture Defense Attorney as quickly as possible to protect your rights. If you fail to respond to a federal asset seizure notice, you effectively default on your right to the asset in question meaning it automatically becomes the property of the federal government.

Based in Chicago, Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Schmiege provides expert representation to individuals in Illinois and throughout the United States who find themselves subject to federal asset forfeiture. He specializes in handling forfeiture claims stemming from criminal cases involving:

  • Drug trafficking and possession
  • White-collar crimes
  • Fraud
  • Racketeering
  • Money laundering
  • Insider trading
  • Other federal offenses

As your Chicago criminal defense attorney, Michael Schmiege will work aggressively on your behalf to challenge the asset forfeiture order while also defending you against any criminal charges you may be facing. If you’re at risk of losing your property or assets in connection with a federal civil proceeding, call (312) 906-7800 to schedule your free initial case evaluation with a Chicago criminal attorney who is committed to fighting for your rights.

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best criminal defense lawyer chicago

Michael Schmiege represented me on my Theft charge and I was found not guilty!

"Mr. Schmiege is well respected by the court because he is a very honest man. He was very kind and respectful to me. His fees were reasonable. His office is very easy to find, and his staff is very helpful."

A.F.
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Never over-promises, but definitely delivered more than we had hoped for.

"Michael Schmiege is an excellent attorney. He is honest, diligent and gets great results. If you find yourself in need of a lawyer, he is great at what he does. Never over-promises, but definitely delivered more than we had hoped for. His team will help you all the way. Answers all your questions promptly and clearly states what to expect. I highly recommend Michael and his team. They CAN and will help!"

C. Underwood
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He understood that I made a mistake but it didn’t define who I was...

"I am so appreciative of the help and support that I received from Michael and his team members! They truly helped me figure out my case and I got outstanding results. If anyone can help you get great results, it’s Michael. I had an immigration issue as well and he worked with my immigration lawyer to help find the best solution. He understood that I made a mistake but it didn’t define who I was. I definitely don’t want to go through any of this again but I’m glad that I had the support to get through this."

M. Peterson
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