If the police have taken your property they have typically done so under Minnesota’s asset forfeiture laws. They can only do this in one of two cases.
The first is that they believe your property is “instrumental” to the crime you are accused of committing. So, for example, if you were pulled over and charged with a DWI or DUI, then the police could take your car, arguing that the car was instrumental to your ability to commit that crime.
Note that this doesn’t happen after you are convicted of the crime. This means that a good attorney may be able to help you get our property back.
The second case is when the asset is believed to have come from “criminal proceeds.” That is, someone sells $100,000 worth of drugs and uses that money to purchase a house. This is less common because it’s very difficult to prove.
What About Asset Forfeiture?
There are also cases of judicial asset forfeiture, but a judge can only take your assets after a notice and a hearing. All the same, this can be done without convicting you of any crime.
If this has happened to you or happens to you in the future, know that you must move very fast if you want your property back. You have just 60 days to challenge the seizure, and if the challenge is not correct in every way you will lose your property. The police will sell it and keep 70% of the proceeds. The other 30% will go to other funds. You will get nothing.
This is exactly the time that you’ll want to reach for the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys who will help you protect your rights. Any criminal charge is disruptive, but asset forfeiture can hurt your family, too. Contact BGS today to get the representation you need to fight back.