Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

Federal Civil Forfeiture Defense Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | October 13, 2021
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 09:06 pm

Federal agencies are allowed to conduct administrative forfeitures of your assets without the involvement of a court. Many defendants do not contest administrative asset forfeitures. If they don’t, the assets that have been administratively seized will be forfeited, and ownership will be transferred to the government. If a federal agency has seized your assets, you should reach out to an experienced federal asset forfeiture defense attorney for help with contesting the action. You must respond to a forfeiture notice promptly and should retain a forfeiture defense attorney who understands the applicable laws and regulations. If you do not timely respond, your assets will be forfeited by default.

What is federal administrative asset forfeiture?

Federal administrative asset forfeiture is a civil proceeding that occurs outside of court and is conducted by federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, or the Internal Revenue Service. Administrative asset forfeiture cases are handled internally within the government. The agency that handles the forfeiture case may or may not be the same one that seized your assets. Administrative asset forfeiture can be used for many different types of property. However, real estate cannot go through the administrative forfeiture process. Federal agencies have the authority to administratively seize assets under 19 U.S.C. § 1607.

While federal agencies are allowed to complete administrative asset forfeitures as a more efficient and less expensive method than forfeiture processes handled in courts, administrative forfeiture deprives property owners of important due process rights. The rules are designed to allow agencies to seize and keep your property. An asset forfeiture attorney helps to challenge the administrative forfeiture of your assets and can help to appeal an administrative decision in court if the decision finds that your property should be forfeited.

Many federal forfeiture cases go through the administrative process since it does not require that a person is criminally charged and most people fail to contest these types of actions. As long as an agency can demonstrate it has probable cause to believe that the seized assets were proceeds from criminal activity or were used to facilitate a crime, it can initiate the administrative asset forfeiture process.

The agency that intends to seize and forfeit your property must first send a notice that it intends to do so. It must also publicize its notice on the federal forfeiture website.

The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA)

The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act was passed in 2000 and made changes to the rules governing administrative forfeiture proceedings. Under this law, the federal agency that seizes assets must begin the administrative forfeiture process within a set period and must give claimants time to file claims. If a claim is filed, the government must respond within a set time and either return the property to the owner or refer the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The administrative asset forfeiture process cannot be used to seize and forfeit real estate or assets worth more than $500,000. Instead, these types of assets can only be seized through a judicial proceeding under the civil or criminal forfeiture process.

Defending against federal administrative asset forfeiture

A federal asset forfeiture defense lawyer might challenge a forfeiture in a few different ways. For example, an attorney might challenge the seizing agency’s claim that it has probable cause. Some of the potential defenses are listed below.

The innocent owner defense is designed for third parties who own property that has been seized. For example, if your brother-in-law borrowed your car and used it to traffic drugs without your consent or knowledge, you could assert this defense to get your vehicle back from the government. You will need to present evidence showing that you did not know about the illegal activity. Bona fide purchasers can also assert this defense. Unlike in criminal cases, people have the burden of proof when they assert an innocent owner defense in an administrative asset forfeiture proceeding. By contrast, the government has the burden of proof to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case.

Another potential defense is improper notice. If the government did not provide you with sufficient notice that it intended to administratively seize and forfeit your assets, your lawyer could argue that the property should be returned to you.

The 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects people from excessive fines. In an administrative asset forfeiture case, your attorney might be able to contest the forfeiture if the government is trying to seize an excessive amount of money from you.

Other defenses might also be available under various federal statutes.

Talk to an experienced federal administrative asset forfeiture attorney

All forfeiture matters must follow specific rules and laws. If you do not exercise your rights or fail to follow the procedural rules that apply to your asset forfeiture matter, you could permanently lose your property. If you receive a notice that a federal agency intends to seize your assets, you should immediately contact an experienced administrative asset forfeiture defense attorney for help. You have a limited time to respond to the notice or could lose your property by default.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!