The first way is to take away the property of someone convicted of a crime through the criminal court system. The second way Pennsylvania can seize and forfeit property or cash is through the civil courts by filing a civil lawsuit against the property that was seized, even if a crime had never been charged or never will be charged. Often people driving with money will have it seized if the cop believes they look or act suspicious. Driving with a large amount of cash is particularly risky in Pennsylvania.
What Is The Difference Between Civil Asset Forfeiture And A Criminal Forfeiture?
The civil process would generally be used to take the person’s property. If the government wants the property of someone who was accused of drug dealing or other crimes, then it is much easier to take the property if the person is convicted.
Even if the person had not been convicted, they could still go after the property, but in that case they would have to file a civil suit against the property they was seize. Whether or not the person had been convicted or charged with a crime, the government could still try and take your property, especially cash. The government loves taking cash from people who are driving on the interstates.
What Can Be Seized In A Civil Asset Forfeiture In Pennsylvania?
Cash, bank accounts, houses, jewelry, cars, boats, businesses, and real property; just about anything a person owned could be seized. It would have to be related to a crime, but the government especially loves seizing cash.
Is It Actually A State-Level Action, Federal, Or Both?
Both the federal government and the state government take property all of the time.
Is It Legal In Every State?
Are People Aware This Is Happening?
This goes on all the time and the public has become more aware of it because of a lot of media attention that is now being placed on the government seizing property especially cash, with no crime ever having been alleged. People do not understand they do not have to be charged with the crime to have their cash and property seized and forfeited. Even if they had never committed any crime once the government gets a hold of your cash and property you will need a competent lawyer who knows the seizure laws to fight to get your property and cash back that was seized.
For more information on Civil Asset Forfeiture, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling today.