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Civil & Criminal Asset Forfeiture Attorney in Youngstown, OH

In Youngstown, Ohio, the law permits the government to confiscate your assets, and it’s not always necessary to have a conviction for such actions to take place.

At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, our team, specializing in both civil and criminal asset forfeiture, passionately defends the property rights of Youngstown’s residents. With a track record of over  several criminal cases across Ohio, our Youngstown criminal lawyer is highly regarded within the legal community. Our esteemed team includes professionals who have served as Mahoning County Prosecutor.

Entrust Your Case to Esteemed Professionals

Youngstown Criminal Law Group is prepared to defend you if your property has been taken by law enforcement. Our success is attributed to our skilled legal team, comprising both devoted Youngstown criminal attorneys and paralegals.

Understanding Asset Forfeiture:

  • Civil Asset Forfeiture: The government needs only to prove by a majority of evidence that your property was involved in a crime to seize it, even without a criminal conviction.
  • Criminal Asset Forfeiture: This occurs post-conviction. The government is allowed to confiscate any property associated with the crime as part of your sentence. For a complimentary consultation, contact Youngstown Criminal Law Group today at (330) 992-3036.

If you’re facing asset seizure by the State of Ohio or the U.S. government, it’s crucial to know your rights.

Your Rights Explained:

  • Right to Counsel: Unlike other legal proceedings, you’re not constitutionally guaranteed a Youngstown criminal lawyer in asset forfeiture cases.
  •  Criminal vs. Civil Forfeiture: Criminal forfeiture requires you to be charged with a crime as it’s an action against you, while civil forfeiture actions are against the seized property itself, not requiring a charge or conviction.

Navigating these complex legal waters necessitates experienced legal representation, especially given the unique nature of asset forfeiture laws under the Ohio Revised Code.

Our Youngstown Criminal Law Group Offers Knowledge, Experience, and Reassurance

Our Youngstown OVI attorneys have a profound familiarity with the legal landscape in Youngstown and Ohio at large, including strong relationships with court officials. This insight is invaluable in managing your case effectively.

We’re committed to:

  • Filing motions for the return of your seized assets.
  • Litigating on your behalf to ensure just treatment under the law.
  • Vigorously defending your rights if your property is held unjustly.

Your property belongs to you. We understand the urgency of its return and are here to address any questions or concerns. Youngstown Criminal Law Group is available outside regular business hours, including weekends and most holidays, ensuring peace of mind throughout your legal proceedings.

Asset Forfeiture in Youngstown: A Simplified Guide

Asset forfeiture has a long-standing history in the United States, spanning over two centuries. However, the rules and regulations surrounding this practice have seen considerable evolution, especially in recent years. In 2007, significant changes came to Ohio’s approach to asset forfeiture, with the Ohio General Assembly revamping the existing laws.

The Evolution of Ohio’s Asset Forfeiture Laws

A New Chapter Begins

In a move to strike a balance between punitive measures and the protection of private property rights, Ohio introduced a new set of statutes under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2981. This legal framework is designed to carefully weigh the state’s power against the sanctity of individual property rights.

Legislative Reform

By 2017, further reforms were enacted when Ohio Governor John Kasich signed HB 347 into law. This pivotal bill aimed to limit the ability of law enforcement to seize and keep property from individuals not convicted of a crime, marking a significant shift in the state’s forfeiture policies.

Understanding Ohio’s Asset Forfeiture Framework

Ohio’s asset forfeiture laws, detailed in R.C. 2981, serve multiple key objectives:

  • Deterring Crime: They act as economic deterrents, intending to prevent future crimes.
  • Economic Remedies: These laws offer means to alleviate the financial impacts of criminal activities.
  • Proportional Seizure: Ensuring that the seizure of items like firearms, electronic devices, and money is commensurate with the crime committed.
  • Preventing Wrongful Forfeiture: Safeguarding individuals against unjust asset seizure.
  • Victim Restitution: Prioritizing compensation for those affected by crime.

What Can Be Seized?

Under Ohio law, law enforcement has the authority to seize property if there is probable cause to believe it is connected to criminal activity. This includes:

  • Contraband: Items used in the commission of a crime.
  • Proceeds: Money or assets derived from criminal activities.
  • Instrumentalities: Objects that facilitated the commission of a crime.

Post-Seizure Process

Once property is seized under Ohio’s statutes, law enforcement gains a provisional claim to it. They are then required to notify the owner about the seizure.

Should an owner believe the seizure was unjust, they have the right to challenge it by filing a motion for the property’s return. The court will then review the case, requiring the seizing agency to prove the legality of their actions predominantly.

In scenarios involving criminal asset forfeiture post-indictment, such disputes are treated as motions to suppress evidence.

Recap of Ohio’s Asset Forfeiture Intentions

Ohio’s asset forfeiture statutes, as outlined in R.C. 2981, underscore several vital purposes:

  • Crime Deterrence: By imposing economic penalties, the aim is to discourage criminal conduct.
  • Financial Recompense: Offering solutions to counteract the economic toll of crimes.
  • Equitable Seizures: Guaranteeing that seizures are fair and in line with the severity of the offense.
  • Guarding Against Injustice: Protecting citizens from unwarranted asset forfeiture.
  • Supporting Victims: Ensuring those harmed by crimes receive due compensation.

Eligible Property for Seizure

The scope of property eligible for seizure by the government, as long as there is reasonable proof of its connection to criminal activity, encompasses:

  • Illicit Items: Goods involved in criminal acts.
  • Criminal Gains: Assets obtained through criminal endeavors.
  • Crime Facilitators: Tools or resources utilized in committing crimes.

After Seizure Actions

Following a seizure, a temporary title to the property passes to the government. It’s incumbent upon law enforcement to inform the property owner. If the owner disputes the seizure, they can seek judicial intervention to recover their property. The onus is on the seizing agency to demonstrate the legality of the seizure with substantial evidence.

In cases where criminal asset forfeiture follows an indictment, such challenges are considered as evidence suppression motions.

This simplified guide aims to demystify the complexities of asset forfeiture laws in Ohio, making it more accessible to our audience while adhering to the legal intricacies of the Ohio Revised Code.

Understanding Asset Forfeitures in Youngstown: A Guide

Overview of Civil and Criminal Asset Forfeitures

When it comes to asset forfeiture in Youngstown, there are two main types to be aware of: criminal and civil. Criminal asset forfeiture happens after someone is found guilty of a crime. Here, assets are taken away as part of the punishment, which is separate from other penalties related to the conviction.

On the other hand, civil asset forfeiture deals with situations where it seems like the property itself has violated the law. This means that the government can take the property without needing to prove the owner committed a crime. In these cases, just the suspicion that the property is linked to criminal activities, as per the Ohio Revised Code, can lead to its seizure.

Furthermore, Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) officers have the authority to confiscate cash suspected of being tied to money laundering or drug trafficking, based on probable cause.

Defending Your Property in Ohio

Despite reforms to Ohio’s forfeiture laws in 2017 aimed at curbing misuse, challenges persist. At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, we’re committed to defending those in Youngstown facing civil or criminal asset forfeiture. Our strategies include:

Illegal Search and Seizure

  • Fourth Amendment Rights: We examine your case for any violations of your Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against unlawful searches and seizures.


  • Balancing Act: Ohio law demands a balance between the crime alleged and the value of the seized property. We argue cases where this balance is skewed.

Procedural Defenses

  • Timeliness: Forfeiture actions must be initiated within a specific timeframe as dictated by Ohio law. Failure to meet these deadlines can be grounds for defense.

Innocent Owner Defense

  • No Fault: If you weren’t aware or involved in the alleged criminal activity, we could present evidence to support your claim of being an innocent owner.

Filing a Claim

  • Administrative and Court Actions: We guide clients through the process of filing claims, whether administratively or in court, to challenge the forfeiture.

Youngstown Criminal Law Group is dedicated to navigating the complexities of asset forfeiture for our clients in Youngstown. By leveraging defenses such as illegal search and seizure, proportionality, procedural issues, and the innocent owner claim, we strive to protect your rights and property. If you’re facing asset forfeiture, consider reaching out for professional legal assistance.

Essential Guide to Asset Forfeiture in Ohio

Introduction to Your Rights and Forfeiture Laws

Understanding the Bill of Rights and Asset Forfeiture

The Bill of Rights, encapsulating the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, lays down ten fundamental rights guaranteed to every citizen. Among these, the Fourth Amendment is pivotal in protecting individuals against unwarranted searches and seizures. This protection plays a crucial role in defending against asset forfeitures in both civil and criminal cases, offering a shield based on constitutional rights. Discover the extensive information about these protections directly from the National Archives.

The Role of the U.S. Department of Justice

The Asset Forfeiture Program by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is designed to assist federal entities in conducting asset forfeitures effectively. Managing both The Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and Confiscated Assets Deposit Fund, the program’s website is a hub for updates, resources, and insights related to the process of federal asset forfeiture.

FBI’s Approach to Asset Forfeiture

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) leverages asset forfeiture as a strategy to dismantle criminal organizations by confiscating their illegal gains. Their dedicated section on asset forfeiture elaborates on its history, the Victims Program, and the application of forfeited funds, enriched with case study examples.

Legal Landmarks: Terry v. Ohio

The Supreme Court ruling in Terry v. Ohio is a landmark case originating from an officer’s suspicion leading to the discovery of a concealed weapon. This ruling afYoungstown Criminal Law Grouped law enforcement’s authority to conduct limited searches on grounds of reasonable suspicion, setting a precedent for searches potentially leading to asset forfeiture.

Common Questions Regarding Asset Forfeitures, Both Civil and Criminal, in Ohio

Q. What Assets Can the Government Seize in Asset Forfeiture?

Government entities, law enforcement agencies, and federal agents are authorized to seize any property for which they have reasonable suspicion that it was either obtained through criminal activity or used to facilitate a crime. This can encompass items such as firearms, currency, and contraband.

Q. What are the Two Types of Asset Forfeiture?

Asset forfeiture is categorized into civil asset forfeiture and criminal asset forfeiture. Criminal asset forfeiture necessitates that the property owner be convicted of a crime before their assets can be seized and forfeited. Conversely, civil asset forfeiture does not mandate a conviction—or even the filing of criminal charges—for property to be seized. Officers need only demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that the property was utilized to aid in a criminal act.

Q. What is the Objective of Asset Forfeiture?

Asset forfeiture serves as an economic deterrent, primarily targeting the prevention of criminal activities. Additionally, the seizure and forfeiture of assets serve to provide restitution that offsets the harm caused by criminal offenses.

Q. Do Agents Require a Warrant to Search and Seize Property at Youngstown Airports?

Despite the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution against unlawful government searches and seizures, customs agents and other federal officers are not obligated to obtain a warrant to search carry-on bags or luggage at Youngstown airports. Such searches fall under a “special needs exception” to the Fourth Amendment.

Q. What Distinguishes Asset Seizure from Asset Forfeiture?

Asset seizure involves law enforcement confiscating your property, whereas asset forfeiture entails the permanent loss of your right to use the property, which results from a court order or judgment.

Youngstown Civil and Criminal Asset Forfeitures Attorney

Have federal agents or law enforcement in Youngstown taken your property? It’s time to bring in a Youngstown OVI attorney who will tirelessly defend your rights.

At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, our skilled team of civil and criminal asset forfeiture Youngstown criminal attorneys is dedicated to defending the citizens of Youngstown. Leveraging our deep understanding of both federal and Ohio state forfeiture laws, including the Ohio Revised Code, we are committed to reclaiming what rightfully belongs to you.

  • Personalized Claim Filing: We’ll expertly handle the filing of your claim, ensuring all paperwork is meticulously prepared on your behalf.
  • Court Representation: Should it be necessary, we’re prepared to escalate the issue to court, advocating fiercely for your rights.

Understanding Property Seizure and Forfeiture

  • Seizure of Property: This occurs when law enforcement takes possession of your property.
  • Asset Forfeiture: This is the process that leads to the permanent loss of your right to own your property, typically following a court order or legal judgment.

With Youngstown Criminal Law Group, you have staunch allies ready to guide you through the complexities of asset forfeiture laws. Our goal is to ensure you are fully informed and supported at every step as we work to protect and recover your assets. Complimentary Consultation: Reach out to Youngstown Criminal Law Group at (330) 992-3036 for a no-cost initial discussion about your case.

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