In the first two articles, we discussed what Georgia civil forfeiture is and who forfeiture affects and how to fight it. In this final blog article of the series, we’re going to discuss how to avoid it.
As we said in or previous articles, in Georgia, civil forfeiture is the legal process by which law enforcement agencies can confiscate personal property including cash, automobiles, homes, and land when the property is used in the furtherance of criminal activity. We also said anyone can be subject to forfeiture. But, it can be avoided.
The main way to avoid forfeiture is to make sure that you or your property is not used in the furtherance of criminal activity. More specifically, to avoid forfeiture, make sure that your property is not connected to any drug activity. With the government actively fighting the “war on drugs” any time property is even remotely connected to drugs it will be subject to forfeiture.
The next way to avoid forfeiture is to be careful who you loan your property to, who you allow in your house, and who you hang around. For example, if you loan your car to a friend who uses it go buy drugs, or uses it to transport drugs, your car could then be subject to forfeiture. Another example, you allow a cousin to stay at your house because they are having some hard times. Unknown to you, while you are at work, your cousin is selling drugs out of your house. Not only could your house possibly be subject to forfeiture, but also cash found inside your house and your car that you allow your cousin to use. You have to be very careful whom you allow in your home and whom you allow to borrow your property.
Although you have defenses available to you, and it is possible to regain your property by navigating the legal process, it is not easy so it is best to avoid it if at all possible. Local, state, and federal government agencies all make it pretty hard to get your property back. The rules concerning forfeiture are not simple to comprehend, and the overall process is not an easy one. Most people will not be able to navigate the process on their own.
One reason for the complicated process could be that government agencies who confiscate property through forfeiture get to do what they want with the property. They can sell it and keep the proceeds or even use it for their agency. State agencies that participate in forfeitures are supposed to report what and how much they seize to the state, but most do not comply with the requirement.
Finally, as we stated in our previous article, forfeiture can affect anyone. If you are facing forfeiture contact an attorney right away because you do not have a lot of time to regain your property. In fact, you may call The Boddie Law Firm, LLC at (404) 287-2393 with your questions about forfeiture, particularly if you or someone you know is facing a forfeiture proceeding. We will provide you with a full consultation.
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