Asset Forfeiture Law

Asset forfeiture is a tool in the law enforcement arsenal as it fights to deter crime. Our municipal attorneys and litigators are committed to working with various law enforcement agencies in order to develop and promote the most effective and ethical implementation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act (the "Act").

The Asset Forfeiture Group, led by Douglas R. Gonzales, represents law enforcement agencies that have seized various assets being used in violation of the Act. The Act mandates the use of civil forfeiture proceedings, and the attorneys in our Asset Forfeiture Group are leaders in the field.  We have unique and extensive experience in asset forfeitures as a direct result of our previous experience as city attorneys, police department legal advisors and prosecutors.  We have advised and acted as counsel for various types of agencies, ranging from small police departments to large multi-jurisdictional task forces. Our breadth of forfeiture experience ranges from the forfeiture of vehicles (including boats and planes), to homes and multi-million dollar seizures of cash.

Based on our decades long experience representing governments and agencies, we know how to get the job done for law enforcement quickly and without delay. We deliver our services by:

  • Meeting with command staff to formulate the agency’s policies and procedures for asset forfeitures;
  • Conducting in-house training for investigative units and patrol officers in the area of asset forfeiture;
  • Implementing the necessary procedures to ensure that each seizure of contraband results in the successful forfeiture of the contraband;
  • Drafting and providing the required forms and paperwork for each agency to utilize during seizures;
  • Representing and advising each agency throughout the entire litigation of the forfeiture, from the moment a contraband article is seized;
  • Advising department heads on the appropriate disbursement of funds resulting from any forfeiture; and
  • Advising elected officials and staff on the proper use of funds resulting from forfeiture.