134 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60602

Call Us312-263-2800

Komie and Associates
stephen komie

The Dean
of Forfeitures

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Millions recovered in
seized assets for clients
around the country.

Chicago Asset Forfeiture Attorney

Illinois Lawyer Defending Clients Whose Assets Have Been Seized By Law Enforcement

If you have been charged with a crime, you could be facing a number of serious consequences, including fines and jail time. However, many people are not aware that law enforcement officials can also seize your property, including money, personal possessions, and real estate, if they believe it has been involved in criminal activity.

Asset forfeiture is one of the largest areas of potential law enforcement overreach in the United States today. Many police departments, sheriff's offices, and prosecutors have been accused of using this practice as a method of generating revenue rather than fighting crime. Even when state laws limit the practice, state and local authorities often partner with the federal government to seize assets and share the proceeds. In these cases, you need an experienced defense attorney to help you challenge the seizure of your property.

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Criminal vs.
Civil Forfeiture
in Illinois

There are two types of asset forfeiture. In criminal forfeiture cases, the seizure of property is part of the criminal charges brought against a defendant. If prosecutors can demonstrate that property was used to commit a crime or was obtained as the result of criminal activity, a jury may find that the property is forfeitable.

In civil forfeiture cases, law enforcement officials can seize any property that they allege was involved in a crime. In these cases, criminal charges against the property's owner are not necessary. In fact, the property itself will be the defendant in a civil asset forfeiture case, and the property owner, or claimant, will need to prove that their property was not illegally obtained or involved in criminal activity.

Komie and Associates

People We've
Helped

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Defending Against Asset Forfeiture

The attorneys of Komie and Associates will use a number of strategies when defending
against a complaint for forfeiture, including:

Lack Of Probable Cause

If police officers did not have sufficient evidence to link the property with a crime at the time it was seized, then the property was seized illegally, and the case may be dismissed.

4th Amendment Violation

If property was seized following an illegal search that violated someone's rights against unreasonable search and seizure, we can argue that the case should be dismissed.

8th Amendment Violation

The 8th Amendment of the Constitution protects people against excessive fines. If property is determined to be forfeitable, but the forfeiture of this property is grossly disproportional to the severity of the defendant's crimes, then the forfeiture may be ruled unjust.

Innocent Owner

If the owner of the seized property was not aware of or did not consent to its illegal use, they may be able to have their property returned.

Unreasonable Delay

An excessive delay in bringing a forfeiture case to trial that harms a defendant or claimant's ability to fight to retrieve their property may result in the dismissal of the case.

Can I Get My Money or Property Back?

Civil and criminal forfeiture laws require strict compliance with procedures set out by law. Failure to properly file your claim will result in you losing your money or property. Your attorney will guide and assist you with preparing the proper documents to meet the strict claims deadlines. Once compliance is achieved, the court which controls your money and property will decide whether your assets may be returned to you.

What if I Am an Innocent Owner of Money or Property That Was Seized From a Loved One?

If you had no knowledge of activity by a family member or friend that led to the forfeiture of your money or property, you can take steps to recover your assets. The law specifically provides for an innocent owner’s defense that can be advanced in court by your lawyer. We have helped innocent owners recover millions of dollars in assets, including cars and homes, by demonstrating that they did not know about the alleged criminal activities that led to forfeitures.

How Fast Do I Have to Act to Recover My Money or Property?

It is important to act as quickly as possible after the seizure of your money or property. A delay in retaining a knowledgeable, skilled asset forfeiture attorney can lead to the loss of your claim because of the failure to meet the deadlines set by law. The federal government deadlines and the deadlines that apply in each state are different, and if you wait too long, you may be unable to recover assets that have been seized. The faster you hire a lawyer to process your claim, the better then chances of a successful recovery of your property. Acting quickly to meet deadlines can also guarantee that you will receive a decision from a judge rather than a prosecutor, which can improve your chances of success.

What Happens if I Miss the Deadline to Contest Asset Forfeiture?

If you do not file a claim within the appropriate time period, you may forfeit your money or property to the United States or the state you live in, and you may be unable to get your assets back. Our attorneys can help you understand your options, and if necessary, we can address circumstances that affected your ability to meet the appropriate deadlines.

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A Record of
Success in Asset
Forfeiture Cases

Attorney Stephen M. Komie has over 40 years of criminal defense experience, with a high success rate in securing the return of seized property.

Recently, Mr. Komie was able to help his client Shane Kolody recover over $300,000 after a 20 year legal battle. Mr. Kolody's life savings were confiscated by federal drug agents in 2002, even though he was never charged with a crime and no drugs were ever recovered. Through Mr. Komie's unceasing advocacy, Mr. Kolody was finally able to recover his seized property.

Mr. Fernando ripped off the government for 68 million. He was convicted and his mansion was seized in NJ. Through a 6-year court battle, we were able to recover her marital share of the family mansion in access of 2 million dollars.

If your property has been seized by police officers or law enforcement officials, you should contact the offices of Komie and Associates as soon as possible. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the forfeiture and aggressively represent you in court as you seek to have your property returned. Contact an Illinois asset forfeiture attorney today at 312-263-2800 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Chicago, Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington, Winnebago, and throughout Illinois and the United States.

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