The government is allowed to take cash assets or property that they believed was linked to criminal activities, which includes money, automobiles, bank accounts, jewelry, and real estate, as long as they can prove the assets were part of a crime.
Your civil forfeiture attorney can help you determine whether you should file a petition for mitigation or seek the resolution of your case through litigation. The government will have to prove the property was linked to illegal activity. Most property can be traced to legitimate use, but you need an attorney to help you study your case.
Your case can take anywhere from several months to a few years. These cases require that your civil forfeiture attorney invests time and resources trying to figure out the best course of action through investigating your circumstances and gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim.
The money seized by the United States Government is held in escrow pending final order. For you to stop this process, you have to wait to receive a letter from the federal government. Once you get the letter, your civil forfeiture attorney should reply.
Unfortunately, civil asset forfeiture statutes remove many procedural safeguards enjoyed in civil cases. Even innocent third parties enjoy less protection than in criminal cases. However, they have been supported in many constitutional challenges over the years.
TSA is not required to get a search warrant for every single passenger at the airport since airport searches fall into the “special needs exception” to the Fourth Amendment. This exception applies to luggage screening and also to random searches at the airport. Courts will evaluate these cases individually balancing the need to search and invasion of privacy.
You can legally transport any amount of money into the United States, but if you carry more than $10,000, you must file a report stating the amount of funds transported. If you don’t declare it, you run the risk of all the money being taken away and the penalties can be severe. These penalties also apply to monetary instruments such as traveler’s checks, domestic or foreign bank notes, and foreign currency. It is highly recommended you hire a civil forfeiture attorney with experience in this area of law to help you determine the best course of action.
The government is keeping a lot of money from people at the airport because they don’t know how to fight back. A money seizure lawyer knows how to make a winning argument and to present your case before the judge. You must pick the right battles and armed yourself to win them. But you can’t do it alone. Civil forfeiture laws are too complicated to navigate on your own.