Civil Forfeiture And The Standard of Proof

Unlike criminal proceedings, where an accused person must be presumed innocent until proven guilty and only punished once their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, civil forfeiture proceedings operate on the balance of probabilities, meaning that the state must merely demonstrate that an individual has probably done something illegal in order to obtain forfeiture of their property.

Because Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not explicitly protect property rights, and the Supreme Court of Canada found Ontario’s civil forfeiture statute to be a valid exercise of provincial power in Chatterjee v. Ontario, seven Canadian provinces are now using quasi-criminal legislation to confiscate individuals’ property on the balance of probabilities, without extending any presumption of innocence.

This has allowed for de facto civil prosecution of suspected criminals when the Crown does not have sufficient evidence to secure a criminal conviction. In Ontario (Attorney General) v. Lee, for example, the Crown didn’t even lay charges for lack of hard evidence, but in the absence of a believable explanation from the accused, the court ordered forfeiture of a house worth approximately $457,000. This is a clear example of how civil forfeiture legislation shifts the onus away from the state and onto the accused to prove their innocence.

In other cases, such as Alberta (Justice and Attorney General) v. Chan, the Crown has been able to achieve forfeiture after a criminal conviction has been secured and the defendant has served his or her time. This amounts to a circumvention of the rule against double jeopardy, and essentially imposes a second punishment which is, in many cases, far more onerous than the criminal penalty itself.

Provincial civil forfeiture authorities have been known to claim that forfeiture is meant to be “compensatory” as opposed to “punitive,” and can therefore be imposed alongside criminal sanctions. By separating this process from the normal criminal sentencing, however, provincial governments have opened the door to grossly disproportionate global punishments in a lot of cases.

In civil forfeiture cases which are appealed, Canadian Courts of Appeal have generally shown themselves to be even less sympathetic to defendants and more stringent in their application of civil forfeiture legislation.

Dallas DWI Attorney

The dallas criminal attorney and dallas dwi attorney has extensive experience in handling civil, business, divorce, criminal defense, consumer law and immigration matters. The Dallas Civil Lawyers are experienced in resolving business and individual’s legal disputes. The dallas traffic ticket attorney will conduct the trial for the clients who are booked under the traffic ticket in the court.

The dallas criminal attorney has experience in resolving cases related to consumer law and immigration matters throughout Texas. The dallas dwi attorney offer several cost effective solution to all the common legal matters. The dallas civil lawyers will take time to listen to your cases and act accordingly in the court. The lawyers take care of the documentation that is needed while filing the case.

The Dallas Civil Lawyers will perform all the needed action to be taken while filing the lawsuit in the court as well as help the clients in dealing with the other matters related to the documentation. The dallas traffic ticket attorney will take care to preserve the identity and the rights of the clients and they will even try to remove the ticket off the driving license.

The firm also offers several legal advices and consultation in Texas civil and state courts. They even provide comprehensive litigation services in Northern and Eastern United States court of Appeals, Fifth Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. The legal services like immigration, civil, criminal family and personal injury are some of the cases that they handle in the court. They have lot of years of experience in handling such cases and are profound to tackle such issue and find a solution that is cost effective as well as suits the needs of the clients.

The firm provides client oriented services as they recognize that each and every client’s requirement are different and so that they are benefited with the services offered to them while conducting the cases in the court. No matter what kind of legal matter you are involved in the attorney are available round the year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to offer free consultation to the clients so that the client’s plea is heard and acted upon to provide fair trial. During this free consultation they propose the cost effective solution that meets your legal needs while protecting your rights and interest. The firm tries to safeguards the client’s privileges and their honor in the court of law.