Civil Forfeiture Archives | Shyler Engel, PLLC

February 18, 2016
After more than a year and more than a dozen hearings, a long fight finally ended with a severely reduced plea bargain and a Cobb’s evaluation to a lengthy term of probation. This case started with a raid by the DEA. More marijuana and plants were in our client’s home than authorized by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Inevitably, a safety deposit box was located and more than $100,000 in cash was seized by the federal government. The home was not subject to forfeiture, but there was an understanding that if we put up much of a fight, it would be. Despite the federal government being involved, we were able to secure the return of a significant portion of the cash in the civil forfeiture proceedings. Our client was charged with six felony counts: Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Michigan’s version of RICO), a 20 year felony, both the 4 and 7 year Manufacture of Marijuana felonies, conspiracy charges, and Maintaining a Drug House. Our client was a Habitual 4th Offender, meaning the judge could send our client to prison for life. Our client’s minimum sentencing guidelines were for many years in prison. We mounted the appropriate defenses and were prepared to take the case to trial. After hundreds of hours of work, half the charges were dismissed, including the 20 year felony, and the judge agreed to sentence our client to probation.