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Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol in Dayton, OH
A criminal defense attorney from Joslyn Law Firm who understands the seizure of cash for forfeiture by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Dayton can protect your rights and help you pursue the return of your money. This is a complex process with strict deadlines. If you miss one of the procedural hearings or steps, you could lose any chance of recovering your hard-earned money.
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The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) in Dayton and throughout Ohio can seize your cash if they suspect it is connected to criminal activity. This typically occurs during a traffic stop if an officer has probable cause. A seizure can occur with exceptionally large amounts of cash, but law enforcement can seize any amount of cash. Sometimes the OSHP will use a K-9 dog to search for drug residue that lingers on paper currency.
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You might be charged criminally for civil forfeiture of seized cash. The state of Ohio may keep your money even if you are not charged with a crime. That is why people in these circumstances sometimes turn to trusted legal advocates. Our lawyers are here to help you and your loved ones through this process with a dedication to the best possible outcome.
Get a free consultation from Joslyn Law Firm today by calling (937) 356-3969.
Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol in Dayton Information Center
- Overview of Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol
- Procedures for Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol
- Evidence in Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture in Dayton
- Defenses for Recovering Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol
- Resources for Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture in Dayton
- News on Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture
- FAQs about Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol
- Attorney for Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol in Dayton
An OSHP trooper has the right to seize cash for forfeiture if they have probable cause that the money is implicated in drug trafficking, money laundering, or another crime. A cash seizure may take place before an arrest or after an arrest. In some circumstances and depending on the amount of cash in question, the OSHP may not arrest anyone but still potentially seize the money.
The OSHP may also seize a vehicle or other property that they believe is involved in illegal activity. Troopers receive special training on seizure for forfeiture during traffic stops, including:
- Identifying potential targets who are most likely to engage in drug trafficking, money laundering, and other illegal activity
- Using K-9 service dogs trained to “sniff out” the scent of drugs on cash
- Determining if there is probable cause to seize the cash and turn it over to the proper unit for safekeeping
You Can Lose Your Cash Despite Lack of Criminal Prosecution
Seizure and forfeiture are two separate processes. Seizure is the physical act of capturing your cash or property. Forfeiture is the legal process in which the state seeks to take permanent possession of your cash or property.
A criminal defense from a lawyer with a deep understanding of these proceedings is helpful if you want to reclaim your money. The state usually institutes a charge against the cash itself. The burden of proof is on you to show that the cash is not tainted or linked to illegal activity.
About the Ohio State Highway Patrol
Under Ohio Revised Code § 5503.02, the OSHP has jurisdiction on all public roadways within Ohio and property owned by the state. The OSHP is the primary state law enforcement agency in Ohio and is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The OSHP’s mission is to:
- Reduce injuries and fatalities and keep Ohio’s roadways safe
- Provide traffic services and support to the public and law enforcement agencies
- Provide statewide emergency response services
- Investigate criminal activities on state-owned and leased property
- Provide security for the Governor and other dignitaries
The OSHP has more than 1,600 sworn officers plus an additional all-volunteer auxiliary force. There are also over 1,000 individuals who work for the OSHP in a support capacity in such areas as load limit inspectors, motor vehicle inspectors, dispatchers, and more.
People who carry large sums of cash are often viewed suspiciously by the police. You may have a legitimate reason for carrying cash, but large sums provoke distrust in the eyes of law enforcement.
Although an OSHP trooper needs only to be reasonably sure that your cash is connected to criminal activity (this is known as a preponderance of evidence), law enforcement agencies must follow the guidelines drawn by state legislators.
Statutes that Could Apply to Your Case
There are a few statutes that may apply to your case:
- Ohio Revised Code § 2925.42 relates to criminal forfeiture of property in felony drug abuse offenses.
- Ohio Revised Code § 2981.01 allows police officers to seize property that they believe may be related to criminal activity.
- Ohio Revised Code § 2981.02 describes what law enforcement officers may seize for forfeiture.
- 21 U.S.C. 853 relates to criminal forfeiture under federal law.
You should receive a receipt (or voucher) for the same amount of cash the state troopers seized. You will need to show this voucher, along with proper identification, during the process of retrieving your property.
Recovering Your Cash Requires Going to Court
You could avoid criminal charges and still lose your cash if you cannot convince the court otherwise.
The state must notify you either in person or in writing of the forfeiture hearing. If you do not show up at the hearing, the state may win the right to keep your cash by default judgment.
The standard of proof for civil asset forfeiture is the same as other civil legal actions: the police must show that it is more likely than not that you obtained the cash illegally or during a criminal act.
This balance of probabilities—that there need be only slightly over a 50 percent chance to suggest that the cash was gotten from or used to commit a crime—is what is most troubling in the seizure of cash for forfeiture by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers.
An attorney from our team familiar with the seizure of cash for forfeiture will protect and defend your rights and strategize to help recover what is rightfully yours.
Circumstances in Which Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers May Seize Cash
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers and other law enforcement agencies in Dayton can seize your cash for several reasons, including:
- They suspect the cash is contraband.
- They need the cash as evidence for trial.
- They are securing the cash for safekeeping due to circumstances such as arrest or injury.
- They are S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, and you failed to declare cash exceeding $10,000 (which is required by law).
Although the process of cash and asset seizure is ideally to thwart criminal behavior, we have seen many innocent people lose their property and assets.
A criminal defense attorney from Joslyn Law Firm can help you build a defense, proving you deserve to retain your seized cash.
Legitimate Reasons for Carrying Large Amounts of Cash
There are many situations in which an individual has legitimate reasons for carrying a large amount of cash. An attorney with Joslyn Law Firm can help you articulate these reasons and pursue the return of your assets.
We can assert that you were carrying large sums of money because you were:
- Transferring money to another bank
- Cashing out casino winnings
- Cashing an inheritance
- Preparing to make a large purchase, such as a car
You should know that carrying thousands of dollars may increase the likelihood that police will suspect you of criminal activity. We advise our clients to carry a bank check or money order instead of cash whenever possible.
- Asset Forfeiture Abuse – A comprehensive review with suggestions to reform current civil asset forfeiture laws by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
- Seized Property Status and Returns – This information center helps you understand what you can do to seek the return of seized property by the CBP.
- Miller v. Ohio State Highway Patrol – Details of a defendant’s appeal in the Twelfth District Court of Appeals when Ohio State Highway Patrol seized his cash.
- Montgomery County Civil Law Division – Find information about seizure and forfeiture in Montgomery County.
- Policing for Profit: Ohio Institute of Justice – A study by the Institute of Justice on Ohio’s tough seizure for forfeiture laws that places an undue burden on innocent people.
Here are some Ohio news stories about recent seizures of cash and assets for forfeiture:
Dayton drug distributors bought large quantities of narcotics, spreading the drug throughout the state. After a government investigation that busted the operation, federal officers seek to forfeit nearly $700,000 they seized.
Federal agents raided Tibor’s Kosher Meats, a Cleveland butchery, for allegedly trafficking THC cartridges and money laundering. The government now wants to forfeit more than $2 million in cash, houses, gold, a car, and other valuable property.
Hugo Avendano, 33, pled guilty to eight felony charges for his role in a heroin and methamphetamine ring in Miami Valley. Avendano also agreed to the forfeiture of more than $80,000 in cash investigators seized.
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others were arrested for what could be the largest bribery scheme in the state at $60 million. The players allegedly accepted the money to pass a nuclear bailout bill.
Chris Hoffman, an FBI special agent, said he hopes to seize and forfeit assets from Householder and the others to help Ohioans get back some of their losses.
Q. Will I be arrested for carrying a lot of cash?
- Carrying cash is not illegal, but having a large amount on your person is often viewed suspiciously. The Ohio State Highway Patrol could detain and question you after they stop you and confiscate your cash.
Q. What would I do if OSHP stopped me for a traffic violation and a trooper seized my cash?
- Try to remain calm and contact the office of a seizure for forfeiture lawyer as soon as possible. We can help you build your case and defend your rights.
Q. Can an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper use a K-9 dog during a traffic stop?
- If a trooper has probable cause that you or a passenger have drugs, money associated with drug trafficking, or are acting in a way a reasonable person would view suspiciously, they may use a K-9 dog to search your car.
Q. What does the state of Ohio do with the cash it confiscates?
- If the state successfully argues for forfeiture, the cash is used to supplement budgets for the Ohio State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies.
Q. Is it possible not to be arrested but have my cash seized anyway?
- Under state law, you could be criminally prosecuted. However, the state could permanently keep your cash even if they do not criminally prosecute you.
If a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol seized your money, vehicle, or other property, please contact the office of a lawyer who is familiar with challenging the legality of these seizures. Joslyn Law Firm has won judgments for our clients whose cash or assets the Ohio State Highway Patrol and other police agencies unfairly or improperly seized.
Our goal is to recover 100 percent of your seized assets. We know that this is an unsettling process, and we will do all we can to get a positive outcome.
Cash Seized? Call Now for Help with Your Case
If you are involved in a seizure of cash for forfeiture by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Dayton, Ohio, call Joslyn Law Firm now for a free consultation at (937) 356-3969.