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Ferbrache Law Wins $47,000 Asset Forfeiture Refund

On August 21, 2018, the government wrote an Innocent Owner a check for $47,000, the amount the government seized from her in May of this year.

“The civil asset forfeiture statute has recently been improved to better protect the innocent owner from unfounded seizures. Today was a victory for this innocent owner and for those innocent owners who seek to have their property returned in a timely and inexpensive manner after the government seized their property”

-Gregory Ferbrache the Innocent Owner’s Attorney.

“Although the money should never have been taken in the first place, my client is grateful to the seizing agency for their cooperation toward ensuring she was made whole.”

“On behalf of the Innocent Owner, I would like to thank the hard work of Chief Sponsor Senator Daniel Thatcher, House of Representatives Sponsor Brian Greene, and the work by ACLU of Utah and Libertas Institute during the 2017 legislative session on SB 87”, says Greg Ferbrache. “Through their efforts innocent owners now have an expedited means of having their property returned and avoid extended litigation that may have taken years to have the property returned.”

Under U.C.A. 24-4-107, an innocent owner must notify the seizing agency within thirty days of their lawful claim to the property. The government must then respond within thirty days by granting the claim, denying the claim outright, or denying the claim for failure to provide sufficient proof. If the innocent owner’s claim is denied by the seizing agency, and a court later determines the claim lawful, the government pays the innocent owner’s reasonable costs and legal fees.

If you are an innocent owner and the government has seized your property, time is of the essence to notify the seizing agency of your lawful claim. You may also want to contact an attorney experienced in civil asset forfeiture to ensure your rights are protected and your property returned. 

Call Ferbrache Law at 801-440-7476, the clock is ticking to get your money returned.

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Can I Film The Police In Utah?

In Utah, can I be charged with I crime if I use my phone or other device to record a law
enforcement encounter?

The Short answer is no, as long as you do not interfere with the law enforcement officer’s arrest or detention. In 2017, Utah Legislator and Chief Sponsor of Senate Bill 239, Senator Todd Weiler, and Representative Adam Gardiner enacted the following statute which provides:

“Recording the actions of a law enforcement Officer with a camera, mobile phone, or other photographic
device, while the officer is performing official duties in plain view, does not by itself constitute (a) interference with a police officer, (b) willful resistance, (c) disorderly conduct, or (d) obstruction of justice.”

The key is “does not by itself constitute”, meaning other facts or actions taken by the person filming can be considered to determine whether you can be charged criminally for interfering with an arrest or detention while filming a law enforcement encounter. Usually it will be the law enforcement officer who will assert those other facts or actions that resulted in the interference.

Can Police force me to stop filming?

Read more

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Consider hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney to conduct Pre-Filing Negotiations as Part of your Criminal Defense Strategy.

By Gregory Ferbrache, a criminal defense attorney with over a decade of prosecutorial experience as a Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney, Assistant Utah Attorney General, and Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Utah.  You may contact him at FerbracheLaw.com

All too often the criminal defense attorney is retained after criminal charges have been filed against you.   In cases that involve extended Investigations by the government, retaining an attorney while you are the Target of the Investigation is critical to a beneficial outcome.  Although it seems intuitive to do so, most attorneys are rarely able to employ this strategic tactic because they are not retained early enough.

Generally speaking, a complaint is made to the government alleging a crime is being committed and a request for an Investigation is submitted.   Unlike a crime of interdiction where the commission of a crime is clear, like an assault or a homicide, a report of a belief of a crime will require an Investigation. Usually these types of crimes involve financial fraud or a sophisticated criminal enterprise. Investigative tools to obtain evidence of these crimes may involve Administrative Subpoenas, Investigative Subpoena, Confidential Informants, Government Informants, Surveillance, and apprehension of co-conspirators who agree to give testimony.  At some point during the Investigation, you will likely be contacted by the government to make a statement.

DO NOT speak with the Government without first seeking advice of Counsel. Those statements are evidence and can be used against you.  The Investigator does not need to provide you their motive or purpose for getting your statement. Don’t believe telling the truth at this stage will convince the Investigator to close the Investigation, even if you are telling the truth!

Rather than provide an uncounseled statement against yourself, it is imperative, You, as the Target, go on the offensive with a well formulated strategy with your criminal defense attorney.  Read more