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Felony Controlled Substance Forfeiture

When a person is convicted of a felony offense, certain property is subject to being forfeited to the authorities due to a section of the penal code. This section, section 480 deals with the different situations in which the property is supposed to be forfeited. If you have recently been convicted with a felony offense or are currently going through court proceedings in which a conviction might be likely, call now to talk with one our experienced New York criminal attorneys to see what property might be involved in a forfeiture.

First, any property that is the proceeds or substituted proceeds of the offense they were convicted of, such property must be forfeited. In a situation where the forfeiture that is required is disproportionate to what the defendant received from the offense, the court can make a determination that the amount that must be forfeited is only a portion of the proceeds so that the person is not being disadvantaged by the forfeiture.

Additionally, if there is any property that constitutes an instrumental part of the offense that was committed, the property must be forfeited. In the same vein as above, if the property that is to be forfeited is disproportionate to the gain that they received from committing the offense. It is important to keep in mind that this is specifically dealing with felony controlled substance offenses, meaning that if a person has been convicted for felony drug possession, the drugs that were involved leading to the arrest of the defendant would be forfeited as well as the additionally supply of drugs the defendant may have upon conviction.

If a person has been convicted of a specified offense, any real property that is instrumental to the specific offense is subject to be forfeited. Further, if property is acquired by an attorney as payment for legal fees or related fees in connection to the civil or criminal forfeiture proceeding, that specific property is exempt from being forfeited. In this situation, the legal and related fees must be considered “bona fide” which mean that the attorney had no reason to believe that the fee transaction was done so fraudulently or was done to hide the existence of the property during a legal investigation.

The entire process of felony controlled substance forfeiture can be lengthy and confusing, as there are multiple steps that must be taken both by the court and by the defendant. There are multiple motions that must be made by both sides as well as consideration from the court as well as the sitting jury and it is incredibly important to have an attorney by your side to make sure that the court does not order a forfeiture that is disproportionate to the defendant, as well as to help you understand the overall process. Call now to talk with one our experienced New York criminal attorneys to see how they can assist with the forfeiture hearing that you may have following a criminal conviction or if you believe that your current criminal case will lead to such a hearing.

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