Have the police or other law enforcement authorities illegally taken your possessions? You may have been a victim of asset forfeiture.
In New Hampshire, there are laws that determine how and when a police agency can seize property from people. The laws have recently changed, too. So if you are in doubt, you should immediately contact criminal defense lawyer Michael Anzalone.
He can walk you through the process and help determine whether your property was illegally taken.What is Asset Forfeiture?
Simply put, asset forfeiture is the ability of law enforcement to take property belonging to people who are accused of a crime. But there are guidelines regarding what can be taken from whom.
In 2016, for example, the state’s legislators pass a bill that reformed New Hampshire’s forfeiture laws. It specifically says that law enforcement authorities can’t keep property unless someone has been convicted of a crime.
In reality, this reformed system doesn’t protect everyone.
For example, in March, New Hampshire Public Radio reported that police officers are still taking items and keeping them before a person is convicted of any criminal behavior. The news agency reported that months after the reform law was passed in the state legislature, the state highway patrol took a bag of $46,000 in cash from a man during a traffic stop. While they could not prove the man broke any laws, they are still trying to keep the money.
Most often, the asset forfeiture situations involve drug cases. The laws are clearly outlined in the state’s Controlled Drug Act, found at RSA 318-B.
If you think you’ve had property illegally seized, we encourage you to read all about forfeiture. At The Anzalone Law Firm in Nashua, New Hampshire, we like nothing more than to have clients involved in their defense.What can Be Seized?
Under the Controlled Drug Act, the following kinds of items can be taken: Any kind of material including firearms, scales, packaging equipment, surveillance equipment and grow lights that is used or intended for use in procurement and/or manufacture of a controlled drug. Also, aircraft, vehicles, boats or and other vessel used to move the drugs, can be taken. And, any money knowingly used for manufacturing, trafficking and distributing drugs can also be seized. The state can seize the title to property as well.
This is not something that can be left alone. If your property has been seized by law enforcement officials in New Hampshire, then you should seek help from a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in dealing with drug forfeiture cases.
At out law firm, we have represented many clients who have faced a similar situation. And we are ready to represent you.
Our goal is to get your property back if it has been illegally seized. We have a strong track record and will make your case a priority.