We note on a relevant page of our website that Colorado’s drug laws are in flux and constantly evolving. Given that reality, we duly point out that any state resident facing a criminal charge related to a crime like drug sale and distribution or drug trafficking might want to “seriously consider hiring a qualified drug defense lawyer to … navigate these extremely complex laws.”
Findings from a recent government-authored report regarding so-called “civil asset forfeiture” underscore yet an additional concern that many individuals targeted as wrongdoers face, often unwittingly and without due regard — or even a basic understanding — of what that concern entails or its potentially frightening consequences.
Here’s the bottom line with civil forfeiture: Pursuant to the federal Bank Secrecy Act, agents from the Criminal Investigation division of the IRS have long had plenary — even seemingly limitless — powers to simply take money and property from business owners in Colorado and nationally who they categorize as criminal wrongdoers who derived their profits from unlawful enterprises.
The government’s money grabs have often alleged drug and money laundering offenses. Targeted individuals find that, once their bank accounts are drained, they tend to stay that way.
Here’s something to consider, which we submit will deeply concern most Americans: a recent government examination of forfeiture cases (spurred by growing criticisms of the forfeiture program and IRS conduct undertaken in reliance upon it), concluded that more than 90 percent of scrutinized files revealed nothing more than the government’s taking of property from entirely legitimate businesses.
And, coincidentally, many of those business owners have fought hard and unsuccessfully to reclaim their rightful property following its summary confiscation.
There is now a spotlight on the CI and its tactics, and it is notably harsh. The division was recently tasked by Congress to contact about 1,800 business owners regarding money that they say they are owed.
Asset forfeiture is but one of many potential results for any person charged with or convicted of a drug offense.
The stakes are obviously heavy where a drug-related criminal offense is concerned. Timely and aggressive representation from a seasoned criminal defense attorney can help safeguard an accused person’s legal rights and focus on a best-case outcome that minimizes adverse consequences to the fullest degree possible.