If you are charged with certain crimes, the Prosecutor’s may try to seize and forfeit your home. There are not many offenses which qualify for this type of extreme sanction. However, if you are charged with a drug crime, fraud or theft offenses, whether in State or Federal Court, you may face a separate Civil Case called a Petition for Forfeiture of Real Property.
At Houlon Berman, we have years of experience handling these types of cases. These cases should almost always be fought. There is no reason to give up! The 4th Amendment and the Exclusionary Rule applies to forfeiture cases if your property was seized or certain evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search. Also, the 8th Amendment Excessive Fines Clause of the Constitution applies to forfeiture cases when the prosecutors are going too far. This defense is often available when your home is being seized.