Civil Forfeiture

Can the police seize my cash and keep it even if I didn’t break the law?

There is nothing illegal about carrying cash, even in large amounts. Whether a person likes to keep his cash close at hand, is buying a car with cash, or is heading back from a winning Vegas trip, simply having cash is not a crime.

Nevertheless, police patrol the highways looking for cars with drugs or cash. Police assume that a large amount of cash means that drugs are somehow involved. Police often seize the cash even when the there is no hard evidence of a connection to drug trafficking. The driver and passengers get a receipt for the cash that was seized and are sent on their way, usually without any criminal charges. Police usually demand that the driver and passengers sign a form declaring it is not their money. Even if the form was signed, do not give up. The Joseph Hollander & Craft defense attorneys in Kansas City, Lawrence, Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita, KS have successfully challenged multiple forfeiture actions when the form was signed.

It does not take a lot for police to think they can lawfully seize cash. The following is typical: Police pull over a car with out-of-state license plates. The officer asks questions designed to get inconsistent statements about travel plans. The officer stands close enough to say he can see signs of extreme nervousness. He then asks if the vehicle contains any drugs, weapons, or cash. Regardless of the answer, he will ask for consent to search. Even if the driver says no, the officer may claim that he can lawfully search the car based on his observations. If he finds a significant amount of cash, he will likely claim that it is linked to drug trafficking and seize it.

Cash seizure and forfeiture is big business for Kansas police. If you think cash was wrongfully taken from you, you have the right to challenge the seizure and forfeiture. If a judge says that the police seized the money in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, the money must be returned. If police cannot prove that the money is proceeds from a drug sale, or was going to be used to buy drugs, the money must be returned.

Chris Joseph Asset Forfeiture Defense Attorney

Defense Attorney Chris Joseph Provides Information on Asset Forfeiture

Law enforcement officials call it a tool, but critics call it highway robbery. Its real name is civil asset forfeiture – it’s how a traffic stop could end with someone losing their life’s savings. Attorney Chris Joseph is on the other side of the issue. He’s working to reform that law. Unlike criminal asset forfeiture,…

Kansas Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Reform Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Governor

Kansas Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Reform Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Governor

Kansas civil asset forfeiture laws allow police to seize and keep property that is more likely than not involved in criminal activity. According to a report published by the Institute for Justice, “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” most state forfeiture laws encourage police to pursue profit instead of the neutral administration…


Is It Illegal To Have 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. If…