Probably. In the event that legal aid or other free legal help is not available, you may want to hire a lawyer.
You can also choose to defend the case on your own, without a lawyer. If you choose to defend the case without a lawyer, your monetary costs will be smaller, but you will not have the experience or expertise of a lawyer. You may appear in court when your forfeiture suit is set for hearing to present proof to the judge that your property was wrongly seized and should not be forfeited.
In our example, hiring an attorney may not be Steve’s best option, given that an attorney may cost more than the $900 that was taken. If Steve does not hire a lawyer, Steve will have to file and serve all of his own paperwork with the court and pay the fees necessary to file. Steve will also have to go to trial and present evidence that the money belonged to him, that it came from the check casher, that the money was the product of his paycheck, and that the money was not involved in any criminal activity.