Civil Forfeiture Lawyers in Surrey
Has the Canadian government seized or confiscated your assets because they suspect they were acquired illegally? If you’re currently in this situation, you need the best civil forfeiture lawyers in Surrey to help defend your case.
At Basra Law Group, we take pride in being the top choice of Surrey criminal lawyers you can trust. Our patient, consistent and professional team of civil forfeiture lawyers have extensive experience in civil asset forfeiture cases. We are ready to provide you with more information about your options.
Facing a situation like this can be overwhelming and unexpected. That’s why you need a civil forfeiture lawyer who knows the British Columbia justice system well to represent you and fight for your rights.
What Is Civil Forfeiture?
The Civil Forfeiture Act became law in Canada in 2006. Civil forfeiture gives the government, specifically the police, the right to seize any property believed to be proceeds of unlawful or illegal activity.
These assets typically take the form of money, motor vehicles or real estate. Upon seizing these assets, the government can either keep or sell them, depending on their nature. In some cases, they can even freeze your bank accounts and restrict access to any other property or assets.
Unlike criminal cases, civil forfeiture does not require the owners of the property to be arrested or convicted of a crime. This means that the government can seize assets without pressing criminal charges against the owner.
An important point to note is that the civil forfeiture act targets property or assets and not the individuals from whom the property or assets were seized. When the time comes for the proceedings, it is against the profit of the alleged illegal activity and the instruments used to acquire it, not against the individual the property or assets were seized from.
The affected owner of the assets or property has the right to take on the burden of proof. This is where they get the chance to prove that the seizure is unwarranted because the assets or property were obtained legally and not involved in any illegal activity.
In the eyes of the government, civil forfeiture is an effective tool to combat the illegal drug trade, political corruption and organized crime. However, it is often viewed by the public as unconstitutional and an abuse of government power. Unlike in criminal cases, where defendants have the right to remain silent, in civil litigation, defendants are obligated to disclose all relevant documents and evidence to either prove or disprove the claims against them.
Instances That Lead to Civil Forfeiture
Civil forfeiture cases typically arise when there is evidence that other crimes have been committed, such as in the case of drug crimes and money laundering.
For example, if you are charged with drug trafficking, you must forfeit all your property, including your house and vehicles. This is because there will be further investigations conducted to determine whether these assets were acquired through illegal activity.
There have also been instances where serious motor vehicle offences, such as driving under the influence or street racing, can result in the forfeiture of the vehicle itself. These actions can cause bodily harm or even death to others, making it necessary to forfeit the vehicle to prevent future harm.
There are also instances where the government can carry out an investigation and obtain a court order to freeze and seize all of your assets without notifying you. This can happen when you are the subject of a government investigation, and they have reason to believe that you have been involved in illegal activities.