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What Happens To Money Seized By Police

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What Happens To Confiscated Drug Money

Mooresville police ordered to pay man back after forfeiting seized money through controversial proce

Under federal law and according to the law in many states, law enforcement officials are permitted to keep drug money seized during raids to supplement their departments revenues. When multiple departments work together on a raid, each is awarded a percentage of the money seized. This applies to the FBI as well as state, county and city police.

According to the WSFB television news station in Connecticut, several police departments in its state have used drug money to purchase equipment, including gas masks, computer equipment and even vehicles. The news station added, however, that funds arent appropriated to law enforcement until suspects are convicted and even then, only if the judge in a particular case orders funds forfeited to police.

National Public Radio reports the amount of money United States law enforcement agencies were able to keep from raids of Mexican drug cartels on domestic soil tripled within a four-year period. While the federal government views the practice of allowing police to keep a portion of the drug money they seize as an incentive to arrest drug traffickers, critics of the practice say it encourages police to pursue cash and not the drugs themselves, thereby rendering the program ineffectual, according to the NPR report. At least four Texas police task forces are funded exclusively by money seized from suspected drug dealers.

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 attorneyâs 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.

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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Is It Illegal To Carry Large Amounts Of Cash

Having large amounts of cash is not illegal, but it can easily lead to trouble. Law enforcement officers can seize the cash and try to keep it by filing a forfeiture action, claiming that the cash is proceeds of illegal activity. And criminal charges for the federal crime of structuring are becoming more common.

Can banks legally confiscate your money?

The fact is, any money you store in a banking institution now becomes an unsecured debt, and you become an unsecured creditor that is called on to share in the burden of a bank loss. You have little- to-no legal recourse. Act gives the right for banks to confiscate those funds in and use them as needed.

Cops Find Safe Profitable Way To Store Seized Cash

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  • According to the rules, the seized money is transferred to the governments treasury after the disposal of the case by the court concerned, and the arrested persons are convicted by the court.

Karn Pratap Singh

In order to ensure that cash seized from different crime spots remains safe from termites, rats and potential theft from the maalkhana at police stations, the Delhi Police are considering to put the money in a fixed deposit account, officers aware of the matter said.

The officials said that a circular with directions detailing the measures to the citys police stations and other investigation units such as the special cell and the crime branch for putting seized money into fixed deposit accounts in nationalised banks is likely to be issued this week.

Apart from cash, jewellery may also be deposited in the banks, a senior police officer privy to the development said.

The proposed move follows the order of a local court that accepted the application by an investigating officer and station house officer of the Palam Village police station, and allowed them to transfer 96,340 in cash from the maalkhana to a fixed deposit account to be opened in the name of the police station. The money was seized during a raid on a gambling racket.

According to the rules, the seized money is transferred to the governments treasury after the disposal of the case by the court concerned, and the arrested persons are convicted by the court.

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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.

How Much Cash Can You Carry In Texas

How much cash can you carry legally? You might be surprised to learn that there is no limit on how much cash you can cross the border with. However, if you travel with more than $10,000 USD then you must declare it. You can find the official statement on this at the US Customs and Border Protection website.

Can the government seize your money during a recession?

, an independent federal agency, protects you against financial loss if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails. Typically, the protection goes up to $250,000 per depositor and per account at a federally insured bank or savings association.

Can banks legally seize your money?

The answer is yes. If you owe creditors, collectors, or anyone else money, they can obtain a money judgment and have the funds in your bank account frozen, or they can seize them outright.

How do police unfreeze bank accounts?

The Police has no powers to issue letter for unfreezing the bank account as that was done by under the Court order. Police is just the party in the criminal complaint case which plays the role of the complainant nothing more, all powers to pass order is with the court only.

Can police freeze bank account without notice?

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Civil Versus Criminal Forfeiture

the 5th in their decision Court can not
Assets returned if owner proves innocence Assets returned if prosecution cannot prove guilt
Example: Example:United States v. John Doe

Civil procedure cases generally involve disputes between two private citizens, often about money or property, while criminal procedure involves a dispute between a private citizen and the state, usually because a law has been broken. In legal systems based on British law such as that of the United States, civil and criminal law cases are handled differently, with different tests and standards and procedures, and this is true of forfeiture proceedings as well. Both civil and criminal forfeiture involve the taking of assets by police.

In civil forfeiture, assets are seized by police based on a suspicion of wrongdoing, and without having to charge a person with specific wrongdoing, with the case being between police and the thing itself, sometimes referred to by the Latin term in rem, meaning “against the property” the property itself is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is needed.

The tests to establish the burden of proof are different in civil forfeiture, the test in most cases is whether police feel there is a preponderance of the evidence suggesting wrongdoing in criminal forfeiture, the test is whether police feel the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a tougher test to meet.

Where Does The Money Go

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The police are able to claim some of the confiscated money and assets back to reinvest into policing, through an incentive scheme.

For confiscations of assets rather than cash, the Home Office gets half and the other half is spilt equally between the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the courts.

Where cash is seized, the Home Office gets half and the police get half.

In some cases, a judge can decide to award a percentage of any confiscated money to the victims of crime as compensation. There have also been schemes where seized money has been given to community schemes.

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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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Police Seize $500 Million Cash And Assets From Gangs And Criminals

Home> News> Police seize $500 million cash and assets from gangs and criminals

Latest operation nets over $10m in assets, 44kg meth, 20 arrests

More than $500 million in illegally obtained cash and assets have been seized by Police over a four-year period, hitting a key milestone in the ongoing focus on disrupting organised crime and preventing harm in communities.

Reaching the $500 million milestone was announced as Police today also revealed the results of an 11-month investigation into an organised crime group in Auckland.

Operation Worthington saw 16 search warrants executed throughout the Auckland region yesterday, netting 44 kilograms in methamphetamine, valued at over $44 million, 26 kilograms in ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, five kilograms of ketamine and three kilograms of MDMA, nearly $1 million in cash, and assets including property and vehicles, worth over $10 million.

More than 200 charges have been laid against 20 people who were charged as a result of the latest sting.

Assistant Commissioner: Investigations Lauano Sue Schwalger said yesterdays operation highlighted the success of Polices continued focus on organised crime.

Police have seized a total estimated $513 million worth of cash and assets since the annual reporting target came into effect on 1 July 2017.

We will continue the excellent work we do to make New Zealand the safest country by making it the hardest place in the world for criminals to do business.”


What Should You Do If Your Assets Are Seized

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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.

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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.

When Do The Police Take Cash And Property

The police seize assets without compensating the owner when they suspect that the money or property was used in a crime or was acquired as a result of criminal activity. California allows the police and prosecutors to seize not only money but also boats, cars, and even real estate.

Asset forfeiture laws are crafted so that it doesnt matter if the asset owner is found guilty of committing a crime. The owner may still lose his or her property through asset forfeiture.

How unfair is asset forfeiture? In the U.S. Supreme Courts 1996 ruling in Bennis v. Michigan, the court held that the state may seize a vehicle jointly-owned by a married couple because the husband was in the vehicle with a prostitute even if the wife had no knowledge of the crime.


Asset forfeiture in California is usually connected to drug crimes or to organized crime. The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that asset forfeiture creates huge incentives for law enforcement officers to police for profit.

Police agencies are allowed to keep a large percentage of what they seize in asset forfeiture actions. In some cases, California police departments may keep sixty-five percent of the proceeds generated by asset forfeiture.


More than $300 million in assets were taken by California police departments from 2000 through 2008.


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If I Am Pulled Over With $10000 I Just Won In A Casino What Could Happen

More than $8m in cash seized in alleged crime syndicate | 9 News Australia

If the police are made aware that that amount of cash is in your car, it could be seized. Legally, the police officer only needs probable cause to suspect that your cash is related to some type of crime. Even if the officer lacks probable cause to arrest you, he still could seize your property. Most officers know that your money can easily become the property of his police department, and it is very tempting for the police to seize large amounts of cash in a traffic stop.

Really, the best thing to do these days is to simply not carry large amounts of cash with you in your vehicle. It is far better to take your casino winnings to a bank and get a certified cashiers check for the amount of your winnings.

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How Much Money Can The Police Seize From Someone In The Uk

There is no upper limit on the amount of cash or other money that the police can seize under POCA. It must, however, be at least £1000. Where the police believe that part of a larger amount of cash may fall under the provisions of Section 294 POCA and it is not practicable to separate it, they are authorised to seize the full amount of cash initially. However, the portion of the cash that is not believed to be proceeds of crime must later be returned to its owner.

In addition to cash, the police can seize money that is held in a bank or building society. To do this, the police would apply for a freezing order under Section 303ZA POCA. Such an order prevents the account holder from making deposits, transfers, and withdrawals to or from the account. If the police or court conclude that the money in the account is not a proceed of crime, the freezing order will be removed so that the defendant can access their bank account again.

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