Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney Will Petition the Government on Your Behalf

About us

Located just minutes away from the world’s busiest international border, San Diego Defenders has achieved great success helping Innocent Owners get their property returned from the government. We represent innocent owners (18 USC 983(d)) such as family members, friends, banks and other lenders for the return of:

  • trucks, cars, sports cars and other vehicles;
  • bulk cash, houses, properties and other assets;
  • boats, motor homes, trailers and other conveyances.

According to Federal law, "the term innocent owner means an owner who:

  1. did not know of the conduct giving rise to forfeiture; or
  2. upon learning of the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture, did all that reasonably could be expected under the circumstances to terminate such use of the property."

Federal Civil Seizure and the Different Government Agencies Responsible

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs, Customs Border Protection (CBP), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The United States Attorney, and the United States Postal Inspection (USPI) seize assets through a series of complicated administrative procedures collectively known as Federal Civil Seizure. Very few seizure cases get litigated in the federal United States District Court because the vast majority of seized items are sold at auction. We believe that most of the owners resign themselves to thinking that their situation is hopeless, fearing serious consequences such as imprisonment, deportation, or fines. Our law firm achieves the return of property by filing all the required paperwork on your behalf. Should it become necessary, we have the experience to litigate your case should you so choose.

The 16-digit Case Number

All government agencies assign a 16-digit case number for Federal Civil Seizure cases. To move forward, we will need that 16-digit number to negotiate the release of all claims to your property. This is your case number that identifies the property that was taken from you. With the number in hand, we can find your property and identify which Government agency seized it and get it returned as swiftly as possible. The Government generally has 30-45 days to notify all interested parties with a green “return receipt letter” of Notice of Seizure, Non-CAFRA and Election of Proceedings with only 30 days to respond.

Why hire San Diego Defenders?

You do have the option to take care of this petition yourself. But let’s face it, the government would rather keep your seized property and sell it at auction then return it to you. Navigating this thicket — the forms, the various agencies, tracking down the impound venue, the proper procedures — will take persistence and determination. San Diego Defenders, on the other hand, will fight to get your property returned. We are the most experienced law firm when it comes to helping clients get their property returned.

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Reviews Avatar

I was unsure of hiring Dan Smith

I was unsure of hiring Dan Smith to help me get my car from the border patrol
He explained what would happen so I decided to go there myself, everything that happened was exactly as he said it would right down to what there responce was.
So I decided to hire him, he definitely knows what he is doing. Dan Smith has gone above and beyond and has proved to to me that he is the right man for the job.
I want to thank Dan for his help, could never have done this without him.

Hire San Diego Defenders before it is too late

If you believe you are an innocent owner, then we are the law firm you are looking for. We have represented dozens of innocent owners recover their property whether an arrest was involved or not. Third generation attorney and founder, Daniel M. Smith possesses more than 29 years of experience in federal practice and will be happy to explain the process and the fees associated in a free telephone consultation. Our fees are very reasonable. Call today 24/7 at (619) 258-8888 and our helpful legal assistant will attempt to connect you directly to Dan Smith immediately.