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How Far Can The Government Go In Freezing Untainted Assets of Individuals Charged With Crimes?

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The constitution basically provides protection for an individual who has been arrested for committing a crime. There are rights that remain effective even before court procedures commence. Because freedom is at stake in the process, the 5th and 6th Amendment ensures that an individual will have legal assistance. An accused can choose the attorney to represent him most especially if he has the financial capacity to do so. The close relationship between an accused and his attorney is important for the success of the defense. It has been proven over and over again that those who have no choice but to be contented with state-provided attorneys lose in court battles. This is due to the fact that such lawyers are often burdened by a lot of work brought by too many cases they are handling.

How A Criminal Defendant’s Assets Are Frozen

Asset freezing can be ordered by the government if the crime committed by an individual falls under the “white collar” category. The logic here is easy to see. Since white collar crimes involve money, the monetary assets of an accused are basically evidences that cannot be touched for the entire duration of legal proceedings. This is true frozen assets | Broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitzeven if the defendant has no other source of funds for his or her defense. If there are assets that are unconnected to the crime, the US Supreme Court will still have a final say on whether it can be frozen or not. Once an asset freezing decision has been reached, the defendant’s money cannot be used to hire lawyers anymore.

Freezing the Tainted Assets of the Defendant

It was found out by the Supreme Court during its last term that tainted assets can be frozen once the proceedings start. The frozen assets will be forfeited if the defendant will be convicted. During the proceedings on the case of Kaley v. United States, there was a controversial issue. The defense questioned the validity of an indictment as the basis for freezing tainted assets. Freezing of untainted assets was also put in question.

“Undisputedly Untainted Assets”: A Current U.S. Supreme Court Case

This is a Florida-based case which became known as Luis v. United States. The lawsuit is all about a fraud involving Medicare within the state. Assets amounting to $45 million were ordered to be frozen. However, the defendant insisted that not all of the assets were tainted. She claimed that she have the right to make use of the uninvolved money for legal services. Even when there are hundreds of material evidences accumulated, it is obvious that there is no need to force the defendant to opt for state-provided legal counsel.

Invoking the Power “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” Provision

It has been observed by many people that the government will always freeze assets regardless of it being tainted or untainted. This clearly opposes the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” provision of the US Constitution.

A Qualified Broward Criminal Lawyer

Qualified Broward criminal defense lawyer, Kenneth Padowitz, can provide you or your family expert legal services in case of an arrest. If you want a no-obligation private evaluation of your case, Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. is here to take charge. Benefit from his extended experience defending South Florida clients.