What Is The Burden Of Proof For The Government To Proceed With Civil Asset Forfeiture?

If someone was convicted of a crime, the burden of proof would be on the defendant to show that the assets seized were not part of criminal proceeds. The burden would be on the government if the person was not convicted, or if drugs or especially money was not found in proximity to the property. However, if drugs or other illegal items were found near the money, then the burden would be on the person from whom the money was taken, to show that it was legitimate.

Would Someone Have To Be Charged With A Crime For Their Property And Assets To Be Taken?

No, they would not need to be charged with any crime for their assets to be seized in Pennsylvania.

Is Just A Suspicion Will Enough To Have Assets Seized?

Yes, suspicion alone is enough. The burden of proof in Pennsylvania is by preponderance of the evidence. The government must only prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence which means they have to slightly tip the scale and show that the property or money was related to illegal activity. Some states have safeguards that say the person would have to be convicted of a crime before the government could take their property. Pennsylvania does not.

Is It Important To Keep Extensive Records Regarding Legitimate Sources Of Large Amounts Of Cash Kept In Homes And Vehicles?

Yes, absolutely, because part of the litigation process would be that the government would ask the person where they got their money from, and the person would have to provide proof of that. I always recommend that people keep records of where they made their money.

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