Can state troopers continue to hold money of mine that is not related to the crime that I’ve been accused of?

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Can state troopers continue to hold money of mine that is not related to the crime that I’ve been accused of?

state troopers pulled me over 9 months ago for felony 5 possession of marijuana and seized $2,000 of mine that I had as a result of a loan check that I cashed just days prior to my arrest. I have proof of having received this money. I was charged  just with possession and indicted for the same charge – not trafficking or intent or any other crime that would suggest that my money was illegal proceeds. The state realized last week that they wouldn’t be able to get me in trial within the 270 day limit, so they quickly had me plea guilty to misdemeanor possession. Can they hstill old this cash?

Asked on May 17, 2011 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The real question is under what authority are the troopers claiming gives them the right to hold onto the money.  Initially, two come to mind.  First, it is possible that the money has been seized as evidence.  Second, it is possible that the money has been seized pursuant to a civil asset forfeiture proceeding, whereby the government can try to take money that it believes to be the proceeds of illegal activity.  If it has been seized as evidence, you should have your attorney file a motion for return of seized property.  If it is seized pursuant to asset forfeiture, you should formally challenge the forfeiture.  In any event, hang onto the proof that you have that the money came from loan check as opposed to illegal activity, because that will probably be your best evidence in getting this money back.  Good luck.

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The real question is under what authority are the troopers claiming gives them the right to hold onto the money.  Initially, two come to mind.  First, it is possible that the money has been seized as evidence.  Second, it is possible that the money has been seized pursuant to a civil asset forfeiture proceeding, whereby the government can try to take money that it believes to be the proceeds of illegal activity.  If it has been seized as evidence, you should have your attorney file a motion for return of seized property.  If it is seized pursuant to asset forfeiture, you should formally challenge the forfeiture.  In any event, hang onto the proof that you have that the money came from loan check as opposed to illegal activity, because that will probably be your best evidence in getting this money back.  Good luck.


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