EXTRADITIONS & FORFEITURES
Extradition is a process by which one jurisdiction obtains possession of a Defendant from another jurisdiction. If a Defendant has a warrant out of New York, for example, and was arrested in Miami, Florida, on that warrant, this Defendant will have to go through a process of Extradition before Florida hands him or her over to the State of New York.
"The Identity Hearing"
Simply put, the Defendant goes through a hearing process to determine whether the person in custody is in fact that person sought by the warrant (in Federal courts, this is actually referred to as an "Identity Hearing"), and whether the warrant itself is legitimate.
We do not go into the merits of the case under which the warrant was issued. Because of this, many clients choose to waive the hearing and proceed to their destination as soon as possible in order to face the original charges. Others, however, decide to fight the extradition.
Towards that end, an experienced attorney is absolutely necessary in order to properly defend the client’s position. Without proper representation, the client faces an uphill battle.
Federal law allows the Government to seize property, including money, from people convicted of certain federal crimes, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime. The seizure is known as “forfeiture,” and it’s done without compensation to the owner.
U.S. Attorneys (usually in the Asset Forfeiture division) must be able to prove that the defendant used the property to commit a crime, earned the property from illegal activity, or purchased the property using the proceeds of illegal acts. Forfeiture laws are intended to punish the defendant, reduce profits from criminal activity, and produce revenue for law enforcement agencies.
For example, DEA agents can seize a boat if they can show that it was used to transport drugs, a warehouse if they can show it was used to store drugs, and a residence if they can show it was purchased with money made from money laundering.
Before a federal forfeiture action can be commenced:
The defendant must be convicted of a federal crime
The federal prosecutor must show that the property was involved in criminal
The Assistant United States Attorney must identify the property to be seized, so
that anyone else who has a claim on the property can come forward.
If there’s a way to get back your money, your car or your home, call me. I'll give you an idea of what you're
facing and what I can do for you.
Call me at 305-461-1066 for a free, initial consultation.
Stop worrying. I can help. I want to hear your side of the story.
Types of Forfeiture
Criminal forfeiture: Is an action brought as a part of the criminal prosecution of a defendant. It is an in personam (against the person) action and requires that the government indict (charge) the property used or derived from the crime along with the defendant. If the jury finds the property forfeitable, the court issues an order of forfeiture.
Civil judicial forfeiture: Is an in rem (against the property) action brought in court against the property. The property is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is necessary.
Administrative forfeiture: Forfeiture is an in rem action that permits the federal seizing agency to forfeit the property without judicial involvement. The authority for a seizing agency to start an administrative forfeiture action is found in the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. § 1607. Property that can be administratively forfeited is: merchandise the importation of which is prohibited; a conveyance used to import, transport, or store a controlled substance; a monetary instrument; or other property that does not exceed $500,000 in value.
Source: A Guide to Equitable Sharing of Federally Forfeited Property for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, U.S. Department of Justice, March 1994.