Who do you turn to get your valuable car, money, home, property back when the government has taken it from you?
Did you know that state District Attorneys get total control over your property when they seize it without it going to the state treasury?
These are some examples of cases Mr. Earl has handled:
• October 30, 2020 – In the Matter of Seizure of Twenty Thousand Dollars and Zero Cents ($20,000) in United States Currency. Douglas P. Earl, Esquire represents family member whose relative had $20,000 seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). DEA claimed there was residue of cocaine on the money. DEA agrees to return money.
• Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. In RE: $29,600.00 U.S Currency and Six (6) Mastercard Debit Cards, No. CP-14-MD-1896-2015. Ask the Woman who had $30,000 seized by the Pennsylvania State Police near Penn State returned to her. Mr. Earl went to Centre County in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, fought in court and after a difficult fight the money was ordered to be returned to her.
• Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1992 Chevrolet, 844 A2d 583 (Pa.Cmwlth.2004). Douglas P. Earl, Esquire wins an appeal from a forfeiture order. The client T.H. was an innocent owner of a vehicle that was seized by the police.
ASSET SEIZURE: The Government seizes your property when it takes possession of it?
ASSET FORFEITURE: Forfeiture is when legal title of your property transfers to the Government.
Douglas P. Earl, Esquire knows how to deal with the legal hurdles, the written questions about how you got the money, vehicle or home the Government wants to deprive you of permanently.
The right to own private property is your basic right. Do not let the Government take it away from you.
All people in the United States, whether they are citizens, immigrants, or even illegal aliens, have the same fundamental right to own property.
When the Government arrests someone we all know the accused has the right to a jury trial where the attorney for the accused may present a defense, question witnesses, and admit exculpatory evidence.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHALLENGE THE GOVERNMENT’S TAKING OF YOUR PROPERTY REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS A CRIMINAL CASE.
When the Judge Ordered the Pennsylvania State Police to return the $30,000 the State Police seized from the client of Mr. Earl, there was a conviction in the case of a person for possessing stolen debit and credit cards. Mr. Earl fought that there was no proof that the $30,000 was involved in any illegal activity.
The Government does won your property because it seizes that property.
Private property is protected by the United States Constitution. You have a right to petition to get your property back even if the Government does not meet very strict legal requirements before it tries to take ownership of your property. You have a right notice that your property was seized, and YOU HAVE THE RIGHTS AS A CLAIMANT TO CHALLENGE THE GOVERNMENT’S CLAIMS TO YOUR PROPERTY AND FIGHT FOR THE RETURN OF YOUR PROPERTY.
THE POLICE, THE STATE POLICE, THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, OR SOME OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY will claim the following about your property:
The property was used to commit crime, and/or
The property was unlawfully obtained.
In light of this, a Civil Forfeiture Defense Attorney must answer six questions:
Who owns the property?
Is the property commingled?
Was the property lawfully obtained?
Was the property used to commit crime?
Are there affirmative defenses, such as Innocent Owner Defense?
Are there procedural defenses, such as Notice Requirement Defense?
Douglas P. Earl, Esquire has 34 years of experience as a Civil Forfeiture Defense Attorney in the Courtroom and answering all of the written questions such as Interrogatories to identify get your seized assets back.
Mr. Earl as your Civil Forfeiture Defense Attorney puts your claim to your property in writing and preserves evidence. Mr. Earl contacts the lawyers for the Government, be it from the forfeiture unit of a District Attorney’s Office, from the Pennsylvania Attorney general’s Office, or from the United States Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Earl as your Civil Forfeiture Defense Attorney gets all of your information, including bank statements, to document for you the sources of your income in order to fight the accusation of the Government that your property was seized because it was from the proceeds of illegal activity.
Mr. Earl and you sit down and go over exactly what must be done and the extent to which it is advisable to make a settlement with the Government or whether we go to trial to get your property back.
Your case will probably resolve in court if it has not settled by this point in time. This means your attorney and the Government will be exchanging civil discovery, interrogatories, requests to produce, request for admissions, as well as depositions.
Your Civil Forfeiture Defense Attorney may also ask the judge to dismiss the forfeiture lawsuit, exclude evidence, or grant other requests that weaken the Government’s case or strengthen your own.
Asset Seizure/Asset forfeiture law has many aspects of a civil proceeding even though the property owner is accused of obtaining the asset with the use of illegal proceeds. There is answers to written discovery such as Interrogatories. There is important preparation for the trial over the seizure by the Government of your property.