Driving with cash and/or valuables is apparently a big offense and may get you detained by police even if you have done nothing wrong. A couple and their one year old child were driving through Texas when they saw the dreaded sirens in the rear view mirror. The man who was driving was the owner of a restaurant and he was on his way to buy restaurant equipment from an auction. He had $50K cash. He also had an iPad, cell phones and the car of course. The police took it all after they had a dog sniff the car for drugs. The kicker is there were no drugs found in the car. The worst part of it all is they took the child into Child Protective Services. When the couple asked police why they were pulled over in the first place, they said an unsafe lane change. What happened to just getting a ticket??
Another man was driving in Nevada after winning $50K in a casino. He was driving 78 mph in a 75 mph freeway. Wow. 3 mph over the limit. I would think that would be a margin of error cops grant to drivers. After pulling him over they asked him if he had any cash. He told them about the $50K he won in a casino as well as an additional $10K in cashier's checks. They made him a deal. He could keep the cashier's checks but would have to forfeit the $50K. Otherwise, all of his money would be taken and his car would be towed. He had his money seized and his car too. He eventually got his money back in a lawsuit plus $10,000 in legal fees.
A woman in Baltimore had just cashed a check she got from her father for $2,000 and was standing waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up. The police decided she was a drug dealer and took her cash AND her watch.
A couple in Pennsylvania had over 2,400 bottles of wine seized. The police had them under surveillance. To add insult to injury the police, who were undercover, asked to buy a few bottles which they agreed to. Then the police decided it was "proof" that they were engaged in illegal activity. Sounds like entrapment.
A couple who lived in their West Philadelphia house for over 40 years with their son, had their house seized. Their son had apparently sold $60 worth of marijuana on the porch.
The list goes on and on. Since 2000, the states as well as the federal government have seized approximately $70 billion. That's just what we are aware of. Let's start with the basics for those who do not know exactly what civil asset forfeiture is. It is a process that allows the government to take your property or cash if they suspect it has been obtained through illegal means. No conviction is necessary. You do not even have to be charged with a crime. You are presumed guilty and have to prove your innocence. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Shouldn't the government be required to prove that the owner of the forfeited property/cash was aware that it was linked to criminal activity? Rhetorical question. One would think. It is the government who should have to prove that the owner of the property/cash is guilty, not the other way around. It seems the law has been turned upside down on its head. This is the United States of America where we are supposed to have constitutional protections guaranteed by the courts. Innocent until proven guilty should be the law of the land period.