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Seizure of property: Requirement of process

Property Seizure NRS 179.1165 Explained by Nevada Criminal Lawyers at LV Criminal Defense

SeizuresUnder the laws in the state of Nevada, you may be required to forfeit property you own-including money, personal property, and real property- if that property was used to commit a crime or to attempt to commit a crime. Property acquired through criminal activities may also be forfeited.

Although the state can and does require you to give up property connected to a crime, you are still protected by the U.S. Constitution from unlawful searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement in Nevada cannot just take things that belong to you and the state cannot just force you to forfeit your possessions. There are strict rules in place for when forfeiture is allowed and how it occurs.

LV Criminal Defense knows these rules and can provide you with invaluable assistance if there is any risk that your property may have to be forfeited. When your assets are at stake, you need a lawyer with experience on forfeiture issues. We have the background to advocate for you and fight both the threat of losing your property and the criminal charges that you face.

Give us a call to talk with Las Vegas criminal lawyers to find out more about how we can help you to protect your rights under Nevada’s forfeiture laws.

Process is Required for Seizure of Property Subject to Forfeiture

N.R.S. 179.1165 sets forth rules for the process required before property can be seized. According to the relevant statute, which is part of Nevada’s Chapter on Special Proceedings of a Criminal Nature, law enforcement is allowed to seize property that is subject to being forfeited. However, a peace officer cannot just take property in most circumstances.

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As N.R.S. 179.1165 explains, any property subject to forfeiture can be seized by law enforcement upon process that has been issued by a magistrate who has jurisdiction over the property in question. Law enforcement acts only after a magistrate with authority acts and determines there is a lawful reason to to seize the property.

When Can Property be Seized without Process?

Although process issued by a magistrate is usually needed for a member of law enforcement to take property that belongs to you, there are a number of exceptions to this general rule including those set forth in section two of N.R.S. 179.1165.

In N.R.S.179.1165(2), the law makes clear that law enforcement agencies can seize property without process if:

  • The seizure occurred in the course of or in connection with a lawful arrest.
  • The seizure occurred as law enforcement officers were completing a legally valid search that was permitted by a search warrant.
  • The seizure occurred as a part of an administrative inspection that was lawfully being conducted pursuant to a warrant.
  • The property is in foreclosure and is the subject of a final judgement proceeding.
  • There is probable cause to believe that the property presents a direct or indirect threat to public health or to public safety.
  • The law enforcement agency that seizes the property has probable cause to believe that the property is subject to forfeiture.

If any of these things are true, it is permissible for a law enforcement officer to take property that belongs to you without process occurring first. However, N.R.S. 179.1171 stipulates that when property was seized without process, a complaint for forfeiture must be filed promptly.

Getting Help from Vegas Criminal Lawyers

You are entitled to due process of the law, and it is generally considered to be unconstitutional for your property to be seized unless there is a legal justification for the seizure. LV Criminal Defense will assist you in determining if there were grounds to take your property.

Our Nevada criminal lawyers know the ins-and-outs of forfeiture law and can help you to fight to protect your property. Give us a call to find

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