Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are you qualified to handle forfeiture matters?

First and foremost, Asset Forfeiture Defense Lawyer VanHee is qualified to handle your asset forfeiture defense because he has many years of actual experience handling complex assetforfeiture matters. Additionally, the Attorney VanHee is an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer and federal civil litigation lawyer. Experience in both of these practice areas is necessary to competently handle asset forfeiture defense cases.

  • I am also charged with a crime and I have a criminal defense attorney whom I like. Will you work with him/her?

Yes. While Attorney VanHee is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney, he is comfortable working as part of a defense “team,” dealing with just the asset forfeiture matters. Attorney VanHee also works alone on behalf of his clients, handling both the criminal charges and asset forfeiture defense matters.

  • What’s the largest case you’ve ever handled?

Attorney VanHee has handled cases worth over a million dollars. He has also successfully reclaimed for his clients luxury vehicles, high-end jewelry, firearms, bank and investment accounts, and recreational vehicles.

  • My case is smaller than that, will you handle it?

Yes. Attorney VanHee handles matters large and small. Contact the Attorney VanHee now to discuss your case.  

  • What kind of fees do you charge to handle forfeiture matters?

Attorney VanHee has different fee structures to meet your needs and the type of case that you have. We have handled matters on a contingent fee basis, an hourly fee basis, a flat fee basis and a hybrid fee basis. ContactAttorney VanHee now to discuss the possible fee arrangements for your case.

  • When must the government notify me that they intend to seek forfeiture of my seized assets?

The agency that seized your assets must notify you of their intent to seek forfeiture as soon as practicable but in no event later than 60 days after the seizure.  

  • After I received their notice, what should I do next?

You should call the Attorney VanHee IMMEDIATELY! Time is of the essence because the seizing agency must receive your claim challenging the forfeiture within 35 days of the date of the notice. If you mis the deadline to file your claim by even one day, you will forever lose your right to try to get your property back.  

  • What happens after the seizing agency receives my claim?

Attorney VanHee directs the seizing authority to forward the matter to the United States Attorney’s Office for commencement of a judicial forfeiture proceeding. The US Attorney’s Office must file a complaint or otherwise settle your case within 90 days from the date the seizing agency receives your claim. If they do not, they must return your seized assets. Usually, the Attorney VanHee must file a motion for return of your property with the United States District Court, and the court will then order the Federal Government to return your assets. 

  • How long will my forfeiture case take to resolve?

Some cases are resolved in a month or lees, while others may take over a year to resolve.  

  • Will I have to go to court to get my seized assets back?

Many asset forfeiture cases settle without the client ever having to appear in court. Attorney VanHee prepares all documents and gathers all information necessary to develop a strong strategy for a successful resolution of your asset forfeiture case. It is rare that clients have to go to court themselves.

  • Another lawyer told me that I should not fight to get my property back b/c the gov’t will go out of its way to bring criminal charges against me. Is that true?

Throughout the many years that the Mr. VanHee has been practicing asset forfeiture defense, he has never seen this happen. Some clients are arrested or charged with crimes in connection with their seized assets, but if someone is arrested or charged with a crime, they would be arrested regardless of whether or not they filed a claim for return of their seized assets. Allowing the gov’t to keep your assets without fighting for the return of the assets, can be used as evidence in a criminal proceeding. For instance, the government could suggest to a jury in a criminal matter that no innocent person would allow their assets to be seized without a fight, unless that person knew that the assets were procured through illegal means.

  • Should I contest the forfeiture of my seized assets if some of those assets were procured by criminal activity?

Every case is different, and this question can only be answered after the Attorney VanHee has gathered lots of information about your case. Attorney VanHee has successfully reclaimed seized assets for clients who were charged and subsequently convicted of crimes. It is of the utmost importance that you hire a skilled forfeiture lawyer in any forfeiture matter - and especially in a forfeiture matter involving serious criminal behavior or charges. Mr. VanHee knows how to walk a fine line to maximize the chances of a return of your assets while keeping you out of further peril.

  • I see that you are located in NY, can you still handle my matter?

Yes. Mr. VanHee can appear in any federal district court in the United States, so it does not matter where you live . . . WE CAN HELP YOU with your federal asset forfeiture matter.