Contesting a Wayne County forfeiture case can be a very easy process, but it may also entail months of litigation. Unlike a criminal case, where the courts seem to press the defendant to make a quick decision, forfeiture cases are civil cases where the normal rules of discovery apply. Civil cases generally proceed slowly through the judicial system, but prosecutors assigned to the forfeiture unit are motivated by a desire to settle cases to make a quick profit.
The amount in controversy can be a critical issue. For example, contesting a simple car seizure might be resolved within a few days after an order to show cause is entered against the police and prosecutor, but even these cases could take months in more complex cases. On the other hand, if the prosecutor's office is permitted to wheel and deal over a $300,000.00 property, the prosecutor is more than happy to take a sizeable chunk of that asset in a few weeks.
You need to be careful selecting an attorney in a forfeiture case. Many attorneys are prepared to wheel and deal with your hard-earned assets, even when viable procedural and substantive defenses exist.
I personally hate modern day forfeiture laws. Few people know that the Crown used these same abusive tactics against the American Colonies and its patriots before the American Revolution. In fact, it was these very abuses that inspired really angry people to become patriots, and those patriots went on to foment the American Revolution.
In November 2013, MLIVE reported that "Worthy and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano have been in a budget battle since 2012. Worthy says Ficano reneged on a three-year deal and slashed her office's budget." The easiest way to fix a budget is to raise revenue, and revenue can be raised through forfeiture laws without a vote or a Headlee Amendment.
Wayne County is out of control. With their budget crisis and the prosecutor's fight with Wayne County Robert Ficano, Worthy has continued to press the forfeiture issue despite its unpopularity. Why? Because it works. Several full-time lawyers are dedicated to forfeiture in her office because she can afford to put these people to work on these cases. Each of these lawyers is earning nearly $200,000.00 in salary, overtime and benefits, and Worthy has assigned prosecutors to this work because they generate profits.
The good news is that these cases can be fought, and these cases can be won. Call our office today toll free to discuss your options: (888) 941-1122 or locally at (734) 591-0100 (Livonia) or (734) 941-8800 (Romulus).