How Can We Reverse This Trend
Some states are taking aggressive stances on civil asset forfeiture and cash seizure. New Mexico has banned it. In that state, law enforcement only may seize property after there has been a criminal conviction. All forfeiture monies are placed in a general state fund and may not be deposited into police department coffers.
Still, there are areas in NM that are not following the law. Albuquerque city continues to seize cash and property from people who have not been convicted of a crime.
You May Like: How To Report Theft To Police
Need Urgent Representation For A Cash And Asset Forfeiture
For immediate representation and advice on dealing with Proceedings of Crime Act proceedings anywhere in England or Wales at any time, please contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556.
For new serious cases you can email a senior partner/lawyer directly by . When you call us you can request a call back or meeting the same day with a senior partner/lawyer or Barrister.
If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future, and you have the means to pay for this service please read more about our bespoke private fee service.
Get in touch
What Happens To Money Seized By The Police In The Uk
If you are in the unfortunate position of having the police seize money from you, that does rightfully belong to you, you understandably may be feeling frustrated. You might be questioning what your rights are and how you can apply for the return of the money. Perhaps you are wondering when the police can lawfully seize a persons money, and what the police do with it once it has been taken. This article aims to answer your questions. It looks at when the police can seize someones money in the UK and whether there are any limits on the amount that can be seized and how long it can be kept. It also explores the circumstances in which money that has been seized can be returned to you, and what happens to the money if it is not eventually returned to you. When can the police seize someones money in the UK?
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 sets out the circumstances under which money can be seized by the police. Section 294 states that cash may be seized by police officers or other law enforcement officials such as officers from Revenue and Customs and accredited financial investigators. The seizure of cash is permitted where the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the property is:
- recoverable property i.e. property obtained through unlawful conduct or
- intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.
Examples of cash that could be seized under this provision include:
You May Like: How Do I Report Someone To The Police Anonymously
What Should You Do If Your Assets Are Seized
You should try to hire a good civil asset forfeiture attorney that is licensed in the state where the assets were taken. Even if you cannot afford a good lawyer, you still can challenge the polices action. All are entitled to a notice of forfeiture. You should look very closely at the deadline for filing any claims to your cash or property after you have been given notice.
Under The Proceeds Of Crime Act 2002 The Police Can Seize Cash In Excess Of 1000 If They Suspect It Was Obtained Through Criminal Conduct Or Intended For Criminal Activity That Can Be Anything From The Proceeds Of Drug Trafficking To Legitimately Earned Income Which Has Not Been Declared For Tax
Once the cash has been seized, the police have to apply to a Magistrates Court to detain the cash. This has to be done within 48 hours and gives them 6 months to carry out their investigations. The catch is, they can do this repeatedly for up to two years and at any time apply to keep the cash permanently.
The sooner were involved, the sooner we can use our specialist knowledge to protect your assets:
- Proving the legitimacy of your assets in the Magistrates Court
- Examining all the financial evidence to put together a case
- Using our extensive experience of civil law to fight for you
Our dedication, determination and expertise means we have secured great results for a number of clients who had their cash seized unfairly. We even worked for a number of people who were victims of the widely criticised Operation Rise, carried out by the Metropolitan Police.
Contact David Sonn or David Bloom.
You May Like: How To Become A Police Officer After High School
What Happens To Seized Drugs
By Landmark Recovery on Dec. 31, 2020
- What Happens to Seized Drugs?
Have you ever wondered what law enforcement officers do with seized drugs?
If TV crime dramas and police procedurals are to be believed, law officers seem to spend a lot of time planning and executing drug busts. But what happens to the contraband they seize after it all goes down? It depends a lot on the amount and type of drugs, the circumstances surrounding the possession and seizure, and what state and federal laws govern the next steps.
Sign Up For Daily News
Stay informed with WPR’s email newsletter.
Craig did not respond to interview requests for this story.
Retired Madison defense attorney Stephen Meyer spent much of his career representing people whose assets were being forfeited by state and federal law enforcement. He said there are financial benefits for local and state law enforcement agencies sending seized cash, vehicles or other property through the federal process.
“Local law enforcement makes more money by turning it over to the feds,” Meyer said.
If seized assets go through the state forfeiture process, law enforcement agencies can keep up to half of the seized cash or proceeds from vehicle or property sales following a conviction. The other half must be deposited into Wisconsin’s Common School Fund. State law allows assets forfeited at the federal level to be sent back to local law enforcement after a conviction. In those cases, local agencies get 80 percent of proceeds and federal agencies keep the rest and when there is no conviction, local agencies’ portion goes to the school fund. However, there are exceptions. Under Wisconsin law, state and local agencies can keep proceeds from federal forfeitures that don’t result in convictions if an individual has died, been deported, fled the jurisdiction or if the assets are unclaimed for at least 9 months.
He said since April, police have made three traffic stops in Brown County where more than $50,000 in cash was seized in each instance.
No Drugs No Crime And Just Pennies For School: How Police Use Civil Asset Forfeiture
A data-driven look at the impact of civil asset forfeiture reform laws throughout the Midwest.
In the past two decades, the federal government took in $36.5 billion in assets police seized from people on Americas roads and in its poorer neighborhoods, many of whom never were charged with a crime or shown to have drugs.
Most of the money seized by this civil asset-forfeiture process returns to the law-enforcement agencies that seized it, providing funds for a variety of law-enforcement needs and desires, including exercise equipment, squad cars, jails, military equipment and even a margarita maker.
Many of the seizures occur along corridors that carry drugs east to big cities and cash back west. The Interstate-44 corridor through southern Missouri, Interstate 70 through St. Charles County and the network of interstates that connect in Illinois across from the Gateway Arch are prime locations for asset forfeiture and drug traffic.
Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial law-enforcement tactic that is based on a legal fiction dating back to the days of the pirates. The fiction is that property can be a criminal. Police can seize property they think is connected to a crime, even if they dont charge the owner of the property with a crime just as navies seized pirate ships in colonial days.
Heres how civil asset forfeiture works:
From Oxen to Pirates
Misgivings on the court
The Kochs Moving the needle
Civil Forfeiture In The United States
Civil forfeiture in the United States, also called civil asset forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture, is a process in which law enforcement officers take assets from people who are suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. While civil procedure, as opposed to criminal procedure, generally involves a dispute between two private citizens, civil forfeiture involves a dispute between law enforcement and property such as a pile of cash or a house or a boat, such that the thing is suspected of being involved in a crime. To get back the seized property, owners must prove it was not involved in criminal activity. Sometimes it can mean a threat to seize property as well as the act of seizure itself. Civil forfeiture is not considered to be an example of a criminal justice financial obligation.
Proponents see civil forfeiture as a powerful tool to thwart criminal organizations involved in the illegal drug trade, with $12 billion annual profits, since it allows authorities to seize cash and other assets from suspected narcotics traffickers. They also argue that it is an efficient method since it allows law enforcement agencies to use these seized proceeds to further battle illegal activity, that is, directly converting value obtained for law enforcement purposes by harming suspected criminals economically while helping law enforcement financially.
Recommended Reading: How Many White People Were Killed By Police In 2016
Can Police Confiscate Your Money
Under federal and state laws, law enforcement officers can seize property, including cash, if the money is earned from or used to commit a crime. If police have reason to believe that you are involved in certain illegal activities, such as selling drugs, they can seize any property you have on you, including cash.
Seizure And Forfeiture Of Assets
Money has been said to be the lifeblood of the drug cartels, enabling them to finance the manufacture, transportation, distribution, murder, and intimidation that are critical to their illicit activities . Operations to combat money laundering and to deprive such groups of the proceeds of crime can deprive them of this key flow of money. The forfeiture of assets obtained through crime also is said to remove the incentive from engaging in unlawful behaviour . Furthermore, the forfeiture of assetsamounting to about $500 million a year in the US–can finance the prevention and control of organized and other crime . It can also mitigate the damage to the economy occasioned by the large volumes of untaxed profits in the illicit marketplace .
Seized and forfeited items can include cash, buildings, land, motor vehicles, and airplanes . Forfeiture laws can pertain to assets that facilitate criminal conduct and/or those that are the proceeds of crime. The forfeiture of crime proceeds can be quite complex as the government must prove the ownership of property and trace it to criminal behaviour. This latter task becomes more difficult when individuals keep converting the proceeds into different forms .
Another objection to forfeiture is that the assets taken are often shared by law enforcement agencies, creating an incentive for these agencies to target the most wealthy, rather than the most dangerous offenders .
Recommended Reading: How To Become A Police Officer In Rochester Ny
Possession With Intent To Supply A Controlled Drug
The amount of drugs you have in your possession might suggest to the police and prosecution that you are intending to supply them to someone else. However, the amount on its own is not normally enough evidence and the police will always look at what else is found with the drugs, or at your home. If other things that are regularly involved in the supply of drugs are also found, this may suggest that you have the intention to sell or supply drugs. These items can include scales, individual deal bags, cling film, lists of customers, text messages indicating transactions, and cash.
The police might also check anything that the drugs are wrapped in for fingerprints especially if you are saying that the drugs dont belong to you.
Even if caught with a small quantity of drugs statements given by you can be used in evidence for example, if you say to the police you were holding a ecstasy pill for a friend this could be used to establish intention to supply.
You May Like: How Much Does Police Academy Cost In Texas
Contact Our Cash And Asset Forfeiture Defence Lawyers Today
For urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about cash and asset forfeiture or cash seizure, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
You can contact our dedicated Proceeds of Crime Act defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:
- Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
- Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
- Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
- City of London: 0207 624 7771
Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
You May Like: How To Be A State Police Officer
Don’t Miss: Where Do I Find Police Reports
What Are The Guidelines For Cash Seizures
If there is strong reason to believe that the items in question are relevant to an investigation, the police can hold them until they are no longer needed. The maximum length of time they can be held for is 6 months, though the police can apply for an extension for up to 2 years if necessary. From this point, you will be given a set amount of time usually up to 28 days to reclaim them. If you do not, they may be disposed of or sold at auction.
Certain items may not be returned if you are not legally permitted to own them , or if it is believed that they would be dangerous either to yourself or others if they were returned to your possession .
More On Civil Asset Forfeiture
Court precedent has shown that many of our constitutional rights are simply not valid in these cases. Basically, your property does not have the constitutional rights that you have. The cash or property does not have right to counsel, and most states do not have presumption of innocence regarding property seizure. In many cases, you will spend more than the value of the property in attorney fees. In Washington DC, you could pay over $2000 just to challenge a seizure by the police department. And it can take many years to get a resolution.
Another problem that some people have is having cash seized at an airport or at the US border. US Customs and Border Patrol is now operated under the Department of Homeland Security. Their main purpose is to prevent terrorists, weapons and cash used to fund terrorism into the US.
So hopefully now you have an understanding of what do police do with confiscated money. It is important to remember to declare any cash you are carrying into customs that is over $10,000. If you do not, your cash can be seized, and you can be fined.
Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Training Does A Police Officer Need
Can The Government Seize Your Assets
Asset forfeiture is a commonly used term to describe the confiscation of assets by the government. This powerful, and potentially unfair, tool allows the federal or state government officials to seize assets or take possession of the property they suspect to be derived from a crime or involved in a crime.
If Your Money Is Seized After An Arrest Can You Get It Back
When they make an arrest, California police officers also often seize cash and other items of value. It can take a great deal of time and patience to recover your cash and other valuables even if you are never convicted of a crime.
What allows the police to take someones money? When and why do the police seize cash? And if its your cash thats taken, how can a Long Beach criminal defense law firm help you get it back?
When the police confiscate money and other items, its called asset forfeiture. Asset forfeiture is one of the most formidable and often unfair tools that law enforcement uses, and it can be used whether or not someone is actually convicted of committing a crime.
Recommended Reading: Do You Have To Report Car Accident To Police
Do The Police Keep Money That Has Been Seized
Where the police or other law enforcement do not intend to return the money to the person that they seized it from, they can apply for it to be forfeited. Forfeiture means the permanent removal of an asset from a person by the court as a penalty for wrong-doing.
Where the seizure is linked to criminal proceedings for example, the police have seized cash that is believed to be the proceeds of handling stolen goods the police will usually wait for the conclusion of criminal proceedings before making a forfeiture application.
No conviction is required for the forfeiture of cash. The Magistrates Court must be convinced that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the cash is a proceed of crime i.e. it is recoverable property or intended for use in unlawful conduct. The civil standard of proof is applied i.e. on the balance of probabilities. This means that even where the defendant is acquitted, their money could still be forfeited because of the lower standard of proof.
With all this in mind, you may be asking where does forfeited money go? Where cash is forfeited, half of the funds go to the police and the other half of the funds go the Home Office. In some cases, the judge can allocate a percentage of the seized funds to the victim as compensation. There have also been schemes that allocate forfeited funds to community programmes.