The Fishman Firm, LLC, is a criminal defense law firm located in Philadelphia, PA. Attorney Brian M. Fishman has defended hundreds of clients facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. He has a special interest in asset forfeiture law, and has successfully represented many clients who were at risk of losing their home, money or vehicle due to related drug charges.

Asset Forfeiture

Asset forfeiture occurs when the District Attorney’s Office files a civil petition to seize assets that have been used in the commission of a crime, usually drug sales. Assets most often seized include:

  • Private homes
  • Commercial property
  • Vehicles
  • Money


Private homes are the most common asset forfeited in connection with illegal activity, which can have devastating consequences for others residing in the home. In some circumstances, the property may not be immediately forfeited, rather the family will receive a letter informing them of the District Attorney’s intent to seize the property. In other cases, where large quantities of drugs, firearms, or cash are recovered in the home, the prosecutor’s office may file a restraining order, immediately removing anyone living in the home and sealing the property. Children and family members may be allowed only a few minutes to evacuate the property before the District Attorney places a padlock on the home and bars any resident from reentry without a court order.

If the District Attorney is trying to take your property due to alleged illegal activity of another, an experienced asset forfeiture attorney can help. Philadelphia forfeiture attorney Brian M. Fishman has helped residents prove that they are “innocent owners”, unaware of any criminal activity that may have taken place out of the home. Even if prior criminal activity has taken place in the home, an experienced asset forfeiture attorney may be able to help you construct an effective defense.

In cases in which a home has been sealed, a petition to unseal the property can be filed and successfully litigated by an experienced Philadelphia County forfeiture lawyer. Brian M. Fishman has filed many of these petitions on behalf of honest, law-abiding citizens who have been unfairly removed from their homes due to the alleged criminal activity of another resident of the house.

Other Assets

If large quantities of cash are found during a routine traffic stop, the cash may be subject to asset forfeiture. Police seize the money in the hopes of finding traces of drugs using specialized testing. Sometimes police officers take money from individuals even without making an arrest or finding any drugs in the vehicle. This is especially concerning and oftentimes profiling of individuals, neighborhoods or travel routes is the basis for the officer’s seizure. An experienced asset forfeiture attorney can help you fight to quickly reclaim seized cash by filing a return of property petition.

Contact Our Asset Forfeiture Attorney

If you or your family has been subject to asset forfeiture, contact our Philadelphia office today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced asset forfeiture attorney. The Fishman Firm, LLC, is a criminal law firm located in Philadelphia, PA. Attorney Brian M. Fishman is a criminal defense attorney who concentrates his practice on defending the rights of those accused of criminal offenses. He has successfully defended clients in a wide range of criminal cases, and will aggressively defend your rights in court and in negotiations outside the courtroom. If you have been charged with any criminal offense in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks or Chester county, contact Brian M. Fishman at his Philadelphia office now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.