The Supreme Court Holds You Don’t Get To Hire A Lawyer If The Government Thinks Your Money Came From A Crime

The government can seek to have someone accused of a federal crime forfeit any money they made from the alleged crime. The government just has to show that there’s probable cause to think the person committed a crime and that the money came from that crime.

But, according to Kaley v. United States, decided by the Supreme Court this week, the government can get that forfeiture order before there’s a trial finding you guilty. And you don’t get a hearing either because a grand jury indictment is sufficient to demonstrate “probable cause.”

And you don’t get to challenge the finding of the grand jury, you don’t have the right to present evidence to the grand jury, cross-examine witnesses who testify before the grand jury, or argue that what they’ve heard does not support the conclusion that you’ve been involved in a crime.

In other words, once you’re indicted by a federal grand jury, it sucks to be you.

via The Supreme Court Holds You Don’t Get To Hire A Lawyer If The Government Thinks Your Money Came From A Crime « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources.

(PS: If you want a little surprise, read who wrote the dissent.)

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