Is a seizure legal if an officer certifies giving notice to the person the vehicle was seized from yet has the other party sign?

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Is a seizure legal if an officer certifies giving notice to the person the vehicle was seized from yet has the other party sign?

This is the situation: Female is the driver of vehicle and officer sees her with a joint. Male in the passenger side. Officers pull them both from the vehicle and searches him. He is charged with Schedule 3 and Schedule 6 drugs with intent to sell. She is charged with simple possession, a misdemeanor. The vehicle is confiscated. The seizure notice lists her as person in possession and him as owner. Then lists the drugs and money that he had,,under other property. Although it shows her as person in possession, the officer has him sign the seizure notice, which actually makes officer statement false.

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you are hoping here is that there may be some "technicality" that will allow you to get off in this case or at least get your possessions back - the car - as improperly seized.  You really need to contact a criminal defense attorney in your area on the matter to discuss the matter in detail.  Procedures and how the law interprets the actions of the police officer are area and case specific.  If you were and are the owner, you were present for the entire seizure then the court may find that proper notice was given - which is usually the issue in these matters - and that if it was a mistake then it was not fatal under the circumstances.  Furthermore, "possession" may not be interpreted under the law in the manner in which you think.  Get advice.


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