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Q. “They can’t just take my car and keep it, can they, just because I had marijuana in it?” A. “Oh, grasshopper,” opines Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer John M. Castellano, “you’ll be walking to my office for the full answer, but here’s a glimpse:”

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“It’s called “CIVIL forfeiture” when they ‘seize’ and try to ‘forfeit’ or keep YOUR car for themselves, and we’ll agree here, there ain’t nothing ‘civil’ about it. You say, ‘Hey, wait, that’s MY car and I own it and I paid for it and I have the title in my name, so how can they keep it?!’ They can, and here’s how:

“The Florida forfeiture statute (laws) basically state that ‘title’ to your car vests immediately in the arresting agency the moment they arrest you for possessing (within your vehicle) a felony amount of marijuana — or for that matter, any illegal drugs, including any ‘controlled substance’ without the necessary prescription. — Florida criminal defense attorney John Castellano

“The only good news: You’re actually entitled to a jury trial, believe it or not, on the civil forfeiture claim itself, allowing you to fight to keep your car, and yet this is a separate and distinct jury from ANY jury that would be empaneled in the companion or corresponding criminal case.” — Florida federal criminal defense lawyer John Castellano

“Best advice: Don’t ever place any contraband (illegal drugs, controlled substances, etc) within your car — and in an abundance of caution, be very careful who you allow to accompany you as a passenger in your car, and be even more careful who you allow to borrow your car (to guard against any contraband being left within your car) and the good news? If you follow this sage advice, you won’t be walking for months and paying good money to a guy like me to fight to keep your car! 🙂 — Florida forfeiture lawyer John Castellano

“Seriously, feel free to call me in the office @ 954 766 8810 and I will be privileged and happy to answer any and all questions you may have about your forfeiture or criminal case — or about any legal concerns you or your family members may have.” — Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer John Castellano

I am, always there for you and your family,

John Castellano

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About the Author:

John M. Castellano is a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has helped thousands of clients throughout Florida. While building a reputation as a premiere Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney, Mr. Castellano has worked tirelessly to develop strategies to best protect the rights of those arrested for DUI in Broward, Dade and West Palm. However, Mr. Castellano is not just a drunk driving lawyer. He has been a successful domestic violence attorney, drug trafficking attorney, as well as all other Felony and Misdemeanor cases.

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