Has your property been seized by the State of Tennessee in connection to an alleged crime? Here is a brief explanation of the process, and just what we can do about it:

Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-33-101 allows the state of Tennessee to seize forfeit vehicles used in Robberies, Burglaries, Thefts, Sexual crimes, and various other crimes.

The State of Tennessee can also seize and forfeit almost all types of property associated with the use, sale, possession, or manufacturing of illegal drugs under Tennessee Code Annotated § 53-11-451.

Once the state has seized the property, you only have 30 days to file a petition claiming the property. Filing the petition requires a $350 cash bond. Once the petition and bond have been filed, the case is set for hearing. At that time, you will be expected to negotiate with the state for your property. The state will generally offer to let you buy back your car or other property seized by them. The State generally will not negotiate the return of seized cash. You should never attempt to enter these negotiations without an attorney.

If you are unable to come to some agreement at the initial setting, the case is then reset for an official hearing. During this hearing, the state only has to prove that it is more likely than not, that the assets were related to criminal activity from the statutes above. This standard is much lower than the standard for being convicted of a crime, and you may have your property taken without ever being convicted of a crime.

The procedures in these cases are confusing, complicated, and designed to make it difficult to get your property returned to you. You need an experienced attorney who has handled civil asset forfeitures in the past. All of our attorneys have experience with Civil Asset Forfeitures and can help you get your property back.