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Asset Recovery

Asset Recovery, or Forfeiture, refers to the confiscation of assets or property allegedly acquired through the proceeds of a crime. If you are suspected of criminal activity, authorities can seize your assets even without a formal charge.

The physical property may be items that were directly involved in the illegal activity or seized due to illegal activity, including your home. If you’ve received an Asset Forfeiture Notice of Seizure, you must act quickly to file a recovery claim. If the deadline passes for recovery, you can lose all chances of gaining your property back. After a length of time, seized assets are typically sold at auction.

At Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm Criminal Defence Firm, we will build a strong case for asset recovery and ensure that you have a better chance at retrieving your property. As your defence lawyer, we will act on your behalf to examine the circumstances surrounding the asset seizure and look at all opportunities to recover your property.


1. What is Asset Recovery?

Asset Recovery or Forfeiture refers to the confiscation of assets or property allegedly acquired through the proceeds of a crime.

The Alberta Government has created their own forfeiture regime. The Civil Forfeiture Office utilizes the sweeping powers of the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act to launch civil claims against anyone they suspect has committed crime utilizing their property or who may have acquired property from crime. This new law does not require proof of actual criminal behaviour and the person affected must respond to the action by filing an affidavit or else they will automatically lose their property.

2. What defences do I have?

Forfeiture of illegal property was intended to send the message that “crime does not pay” however, it also proved to be an excellent source of revenue for the government. As a result, multidisciplinary forfeiture squads were established in all of the major cities in Canada. These teams of police, income tax investigators, lawyers and forensic accountants use broad legal powers and specialized knowledge to seize cash, cars, and houses.

In Alberta, if evidence is obtained in violation of your Charter rights, it may be excluded even in a Civil context. Making successful Charter applications of this type requires an experience lawyer who is well versed in Forfeiture Law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm can defend your constitutional rights and your right to reclaim your property.

Recently won cases

R v C.C.[Lethbridge Provincial Court]

As a result of an ongoing investigation, Lethbridge RCMP seized the client’s laptop and phone.

Successful Result: After the charges were resolved through Alternative Measure (AMP) the client had his laptop and phone returned to his possession.