Current civil asset forfeiture laws in Georgia allow law enforcement to seize private property with minimal due process. As long as they feel there is “probable cause” to believe property connects to any type of illegal activity, they can take it. Alarmingly, it does not matter if the owner of the property committed any crime themselves.
There is a limited window of time during which you can attempt to have it returned. If you have forfeited your property, it is critical that you get legal help immediately or you may lose it forever.
How does civil forfeiture work?
Under Georgia law, law enforcement officers can seize property through a set of legal actions performed without notifying the property owner. Once they gather the information for a complaint and file it with the court, the property owner has only 30 days to answer the complaint.
If the complaint has no response after 30 days, the citizen loses the property forever.
Is responding to a complaint complicated?
Separate forfeiture statutes require different types of evidence in the response to the claim and protect your property. The number of different provisions and procedures can be overwhelming to handle on your own. And if you respond incompletely or incorrectly you risk missing your only chance to get your property back.
How can you fight a civil forfeiture successfully?
To be successful you must demonstrate to the judge that the property is not connected to any crime. Your appeal must be compelling and convincing to the judge, as there is no jury involved in this type of case.
An experienced civil asset forfeiture attorney can help you get your property back if you contact them in time. Do not hesitate to get the help you need right away.