It IS state-sanctioned theft. Most civil forfeiture cases begin with a drug
case. Civil forfeiture cases are entirely separate cases with their own
case numbers, court dates and rules. Sometimes they will have the same
judge and prosecutors, but not always. You can lose your property even if
you win the underlying criminal case. In fact, their doesn't even have to
be an underlying criminal case. The police can take your property even if
they can't prove you did anything wrong.
In this remarkable case from Tennessee, police seized $22,000 from a man
simply because he couldn't prove where it came from. That's outrageous.
Your money is your money. You shouldn't have to prove that you got it
legitimately. Rather, the burden should be upon the government (police) to
prove that you didn't.
If you get involved in a case like this, please don't try to handle it
yourself. There are some deadlines and required filings that will kill your
case if you miss them. Call us. We can help.