Being accused of a crime results in many potential consequences. Your reputation could be ruined, and you could be forced to go through the time, expense, and stress of a criminal trial. If convicted, you could also face serious consequences including incarceration.
One other possible consequence of alleged criminal activity: forfeiture. Forfeiture occurs when your property is taken by the state. Any property could potentially be taken, from cars to money to real property. You could end up losing very valuable assets due to forfeiture and you need to understand exactly what the rules are and what your options are for trying to protect your money and possessions.
Las Vegas defense lawyer Nick Wooldridge can help you if you are faced with forfeiture or if there is a risk that any criminal penalties will be imposed upon you. LV Criminal Defense helps you to try to get charges dropped, get an acquittal, or get the most favorable plea deal possible.
We also assist you in trying to avoid the forfeiture of your property. We know forfeiture laws very well and can fight to help you keep what is yours. Give us a call today to find out more.
Nevada Revised Statute section 179.1164 explains circumstances under which your property could be seized and you could be forced to forfeit your interest in the property.
Under this statute, property is subject to seizure and forfeiture if your interest in the property is any way related to or attributable to the commission of a felony offense or the attempted commission of a felony offense. Essentially, if you have the property due to actual or attempted criminal activity, you may have to forfeit it.
N.R.S. 179.1164 also makes clear that there are other laws in Nevada that also allow for the seizure and forfeiture of property under appropriate circumstances. These other laws include, but are not limited to N.R.S. 179.121, which allows for the forfeiture of property used to commit a felony offense or used to try to commit a felony offense.
Although forfeiture rules allow for the state to take virtually all property used in the commission of a crime or obtained due to the commission of the crime, there are some limited exceptions. For example, one exception that exists: a person’s property cannot be subject to forfeiture based on a crime committed using that property without that owner’s consent or knowledge.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
This exception exists because an innocent person should not have to permanently forfeit an ownership interest in his or her own property just because someone else used that property in connection with a crime, without the consent or knowledge of the property’s rightful owner.
For a person to retain an ownership interest in property, despite the fact that it was used in the commission of a crime, that individual must not have been “willfully blind.” In other words, the property owner could be at risk of losing ownership if the property owner intentionally chose to ignore the fact that the property was being used for a crime. You cannot just close your eyes to obvious wrongdoing and expect to get to keep the property.
If you are at risk of losing any of your money or property to forfeiture, it is important that you take action to protect what is yours. When you’re accused of the type of crime that could result in seizure and forfeiture of money or property, it is also extremely important that you have a Las Vegas lawyer who can represent you in responding to the criminal actions that could not only lead to lost property but that could also lead to lost freedom.