Minnesotans, civil forfeiture laws might be a completely foreign concept. Many people might not even know what civil forfeiture is.
In Minnesota, civil forfeiture laws allow police to seize your money, automobile, firearm, or property, even without convicting you of a crime. Fighting to get your property back can be an incredibly difficult task, unfortunately. The process can be very long and require extensive paperwork. However, with experienced lawyers, you will have the guidance that you need.
In the US, a person is always considered innocent until proven guilty. However, in Minnesota, asset forfeitures can make it seem like that notion is completely reversed. The state forfeiture law essentially outlines that your property is guilty until proven innocent. Under both federal and state forfeiture laws, police can seize any property that they believe has involvement in criminal activity. Minnesota Lawmakers have reformed some of these laws, so that police can only seize property after a conviction or confession to the crime has been made.
Types of Asset Forfeitures
In Minnesota, there are two types of forfeitures cases.
Criminal Asset Forfeiture: this involves any case where the government can seize and forfeit an owner’s property after they have been convicted of a crime. This is often referred to as Judicial Forfeiture because the owner is given a proper due process before the property is taken.
Civil Asset Forfeiture: this involves the government seizing and forfeiting property without any notice given to the owner, or any criminal charge or conviction. This is also commonly known as Administrative Forfeiture. This typically involves property such as motorcycles, boats, RVs, and other vehicles.
With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can better understand civil forfeitures and protect your rights.