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When Does Criminal Forfeiture Occur?

Criminal forfeiture may occur in Northern Kentucky state and federal courts, or any other jurisdiction.  The asset may be immediately seized by the authorities with the intent of forfeiture of the item.  Forfeiture typically occurs after the owner is convicted of a crime, and where forfeiture is allowed under the laws of the prosecuting jurisdiction.  For a forfeiture to be valid, the prosecution must demonstrate that the property has a sufficient relationship to the criminal activity to justify depriving the owner of his property rights. For example, most states allow for the forfeiture of cash which is seized during an illegal drug transaction.  Seizures also may occur if a person is arrested for drug trafficking, money laundering, soliciting a prostitute or even drunk driving. The prosecutor's office may be able to seek forfeiture of your property -- even your business or home -- if you are convicted of certain offenses, such as harboring illegal aliens, drug trafficking or racketeering. If you are facing a charge involving possible criminal forfeiture, you can include the issue of forfeiture (both criminal and civil) in any plea negotiations that may occur with the prosecutor.  Which items you may forfeit and which items you may have returned vary greatly based on the charges and the negotiations.  You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to eliminate or minimize the amount of the forfeiture and protect your rights.

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