Legal Question in Criminal Law in Missouri

petition for forfeiture

How do i file a pleading to a petition for forfeiture of property that was seized in an alleged methamphetamine possession? This is to be filed in the circuit court. Is there a form? Can i do this without an attorney?

Asked on 4/29/04, 7:46 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

Re: petition for forfeiture

You are probably referring to what is called a CAFA action where the prosecuting attorney seeks a Judgment forfeiting ownership of assets seized during a drug bust. As with other types of civil lawsuits the defendant needs to file an Answer to each of the allegations included in the petition, but there may also be legal grounds for filing other responses such as a Motion to Dismiss, for example. There are strict time limits for the filing of any permissable pleading, and you may be deemed to have waived certain defenses unless they are plead properly and on time. The technical answer to your question is "yes, you may file a responsive pleading without an attorney". But, why would you want to? The odds of winning one of these cases are very low to begin with, even for a very experienced lawyer. You are almost guaranteed to lose if you do this yourself. I would suggest talking to the attorney who is handling the criminal charges at the very least. If you are able to hire a private attorney and the case is in the eastern half of the state I may be able to offer my services, but there are absolutely no guarantees of positive results. You may call me for a free telephone consultation at 314-727-2822.

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Answered on 4/29/04, 8:36 pm

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