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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.
Overview Of Seizure For Cash For Forfeiture By Ohio State Highway Patrol
An OSHP trooper has the right to seize cash for forfeiture if they have probable cause that the money is implicated in drug trafficking, money laundering, or another crime. A cash seizure may take place before an arrest or after an arrest. In some circumstances and depending on the amount of cash in question, the OSHP may not arrest anyone but still potentially seize the money.
The OSHP may also seize a vehicle or other property that they believe is involved in illegal activity. Troopers receive special training on seizure for forfeiture during traffic stops, including:
- Identifying potential targets who are most likely to engage in drug trafficking, money laundering, and other illegal activity
- Using K-9 service dogs trained to sniff out the scent of drugs on cash
- Determining if there is probable cause to seize the cash and turn it over to the proper unit for safekeeping
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What Happens When Money Is Confiscated
After police and authorities have possession of cash or other seized property, there are two ways in which the seized assets become permanently theirs: first, if a prosecutor can prove that seized assets were connected to criminal activity in a courtroom, or second, if nobody tries to claim the seized assets.
Evidence In Seizure Of Cash For Forfeiture In Dayton
The standard of proof for civil asset forfeiture is the same as other civil legal actions: the police must show that it is more likely than not that you obtained the cash illegally or during a criminal act.
This balance of probabilitiesthat there need be only slightly over a 50 percent chance to suggest that the cash was gotten from or used to commit a crimeis what is most troubling in the seizure of cash for forfeiture by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers.
An attorney from our team familiar with the seizure of cash for forfeiture will protect and defend your rights and strategize to help recover what is rightfully yours.
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Accused Allowed To Use Seized Cash To Pay Lawyer
In a recent case, the NWT Supreme Court allowed a man facing trial for possessing the proceeds of crime to use some of the $62,960 in cash police had seized from his hotel room in Inuvik to pay his legal fees. Ali Omar told the court in November 2021 that he had trouble securing employment and was still paying off the $5,000 he said it cost to fly himself and his lawyer from Edmonton to Inuvik and stay there.
NWT Supreme Court Chief Justice Louise Charbonneau said at the time that the request was so rare she was not aware of anyone else having ever made a similar application in the territory.
Ruling in Omars favour, Charbonneau said while laws related to the proceeds of crime aim to ensure crime does not pay, making sure Omar had access to legal representation and upholding his right to the presumption of innocence were paramount. She noted other Canadian courts have also ruled in favour of accused people in similar cases.
How much of the seized cash Omar was ultimately able to use has not been publicly disclosed, although his initial application cited legal costs totalling $39,500.
There was a discrepancy in the reported amount of money that had been confiscated from Omars hotel room.
A representative of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada confirmed the total of $62,960 was correct.
Cash Seized Why The Police Can Confiscate Your Cash With No Crime
So what happens to money seized by police?
In recent years, there has been explosive growth in the law enforcement tactic known as civil asset forfeiture. This practice has become more and more controversial, as law enforcement is generally empowered to seize someones cash or property just on a suspicion that it was acquired illegally. No formal charge or arrest is needed for the police to hold onto your assets.
In the last 14 years, there have been $29 billion worth of assets seized by law enforcement across the US, and $4.5 billion in 2014 alone. Even if you are eventually found innocent of wrongdoing, getting your property back can be very difficult.
If you ever have your cash or property seized by the police, you will want to know more about the practice and what to do to get your property back. Here are some tips and additional information from the ACLU on this practice:
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Legitimate Reasons People Carry Cash
Civil asset forfeiture turns authorities into bounty hunters who somehow cant imagine the many legitimate reasons people carry cash. Theyve snatched large amounts of cash from people carrying it to buy a used car, to close a business deal or simply because its the proceeds of their legitimate cash business.
A deputy in rural Muskogee, Oklahoma, stopped a driver on the highway for a broken taillight and seized $53,000 in donations collected from charity concerts for a Christian college in Myanmar and a Thai orphanage. Only after horrendous national publicity and intervention by an Institute for Justice lawyer did the government return the money.
Can A Police Officer Take Money From You
Under civil forfeiture laws, police officers can take money from people with no proof of any wrongdoing, and without filing criminal charges. How does this work, and what happens to the money? In Data We Trust
Local police in Little Compton, R.I., netted $3.8 million in a drug bust and outfitted their cars with $1,700 video cameras and heat detection devices for a police force of seven. The owner of a sailboat lost the craft after a crew member was caught with a small amount of marijuana.
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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.
Four Decades Of Savings
Thai said he was 16 when he arrived in the U.S. on a boat from Vietnam in 1986. After graduating high school in Albuquerque, he attended community college and then worked at Intel for 16 years as a technical engineer and data analyst. He went on to open and run a restaurant, the Asian Grill, until 2019.
Thai says he saved a chunk of money over the years and largely eschewed banks. In my culture, we use cash, he said.
Seeking a safe investment, he said he began studying vertical farming, which involves growing crops in vertical stacks using hydroponics, and looking around for a cheap piece of land to purchase. He found a partner in Liu, who he met through the Albuquerque restaurant scene.
You never lose money if you buy a piece of farm land, Thai said. Thats why Bill Gates bought so much land.
Thai said he told the officers who grilled him that they had worked hard for their money and had no firm plans on what they were going to do with the land.
He kept asking where did the money come from? Where did I work? Thai said. I said, I lived here a long time. I worked many years.
After the interrogations were over and the deputies let the men go, they received no paperwork related to the forfeiture, Thai said. Campbell, the local defense lawyer not involved in the case, said law enforcement is supposed to issue property receipts detailing what was seized but doesn’t always do so.
The lawyer for Thai and Liu, Richard Anderson, did not respond to requests for comment.
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What Happens To Drug Money After The Police Seize It
After the drug money is seized and the required reports taken, an order of disposition is obtained from the Attorney General allowing the police department to retain a portion of the money for its budget with the remainder going into an asset fund held by the government. As of 2014, the amount of money obtained from drug busts has tripled recently from $567 million to $1.6 billion nationwide.
If the charges or reason for seizure of funds is overturned or dismissed by the courts, then the money can be returned along with any seized property. Individuals who believe that their money or items were seized wrongly can file a report with the seizing agency and possibly have the items returned to them depending on the situation.
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.
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Speak With An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
An arrest and conviction can change everything. Fines or time in jail are the immediate concern, but a conviction will also mean a criminal record that can make it harder to find a job and housing for years to come. If you are arrested or learn you are under investigation, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can search LawInfos legal directory to find a local criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights, lay out your options, and help you determine the best way to proceed with mounting a defense and limiting potential penalties.
What Does It Mean When Police Seize Money In Pa
Legal experts say the practice is a form of highway robbery, in which police take money largely from people of color to pad their yearly budgets and those of prosecutors. Pennsylvania, like other states, allows law enforcement to seize property and keep it even if someone is acquitted of a crime or not charged at all.
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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.
How Much Money Legally Can Be Carried
Heres what the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website writes: It is legal to transport any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the United States, But anyone carrying more than $10,000 must declare the amount by filing a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary
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When Seized Money Is Handed Permanently To The Police
When the police seize your money, the money may become theirs permanently in two ways:
- When the prosecutor proves that the seized money was connected to a criminal activity
- When you do not make any attempt to claim the seized money
In most cases, seized money reverts to the law enforcement officers ownership by default. If you challenge the seizure, the prosecutor may offer to return half of the seized money to you in exchange for not suing or reporting them. Sometimes, the police may return all the seized money, especially if they are confronted by lawyers or by the victim.
Usually, the police volunteer to return all the seized money provided the victim or their attorney promises not to sue the police or the prosecutor for the unlawful forfeiture. Most victims are willing to do everything, including not suing, to recover all their money back. Many victims fear the legal struggles involved while claiming their money. However, most of the seized money ends up with the law enforcement officers. Only a small percentage of the federally seized property is ever returned to the police.
Seized Money And Property
The police can seize your money or property whether or not you have been charged with an offense. The government has a strong task force of police and experts devoted to trying to identify if money is acquired illegally.
If they even suspect that your money is not rightfully yours, and even without proof of a criminal charge, the government can seize your property from you.
The process the government uses to seize your property is not a criminal process and therefore the prosecution only has to prove on a balance of probabilities that the property was acquired illegally.
This is a lower standard or proof, which makes it easier for the government to seize your property. During the process the police can take your money and property and it takes skilled efforts to have your money and property returned.
It is therefore imperative that you hire a skilled defence lawyer who will fight tirelessly for your seized assets. A skilled lawyer will establish why you have a legitimate claim and the colour of right to your assets and will argue that the police do not require your property during their investigation and do not have lawful authority to keep it.
Michael Bloom, a criminal defence lawyer, will do whatever it takes to have your money or property returned. He is not intimidated by the prosecution, having been a former prosecutor, and he will fight for what is rightfully yours to be returned.
The police can take away what is rightfully yours with ease, but dont let them keep it.
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How Does The Dea Deal With Seized Cash
2The AFP is a federal program for managing seized assets, including cash, used in crime until those assets are returned to the owner or forfeited to the government. ii and conversion to a cashiers check. The agents then take the cashiers check back to the DEA office for safekeeping until it is transferred to the USMS.
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.
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Do Police Keep Seized Money Uk
How long can police keep seized money? POCA allows the police to detain the cash without a court order for up to 48 hours, not including weekends or public holidays. If the police wish to detain the cash for more than 48 hours, they must apply for a court order. The rest of the cash must be released.
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.
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The Struggle To Get Money Back
In theory, anyone can fight to get their seized property back. But unlike in criminal cases, there is no right to a free, court-appointed attorney in civil forfeiture. For many people, its impossible to pay an attorney the several thousands of dollars it can cost to pursue their property. Often, a lawyers fees would exceed the value of the seized money.
Many people never try to get their money back. Some lack the language skills to wage a legal fight others just want to avoid tangling with law enforcement. And then theres the tight, 20-day, window to respond among the shortest in the country, according to a WBUR review of state statutes. It leaves little time for a letter to be rerouted from an incorrect address, or for the property owner to hire an attorney.
As a result of these hurdles, the majority of civil forfeiture cases are ruled in the district attorney’s favor by default, meaning people took no action to get their money back. In Worcester County, 84% of forfeiture cases in fiscal 2019 were default judgments, according to data from the trial court.
Even when people do take action to get their money back, the district attorney may have other plans for it. One resident found that out the hard way.
Northbridge police and members of the Blackstone Valley Drug Task Force stormed into Laura Wojcechowiczs house on a September evening as she was getting ready for bed.
She said the police told her, Were not here for you.