Law enforcement officers routinely seize money and property from suspects during the course of criminal investigations. Getting this seized money back can prove difficult, even if you are ultimately not charged or found guilty of a crime.
It helps to have an idea of what happens with money and other items that are taken by police. If your property has been seized during a criminal investigation, you will need skilled legal counsel to get it back. Reach out to the dedicated Greenville, SC criminal defense law firm of Boatright Legal.
What Can the Police Seize?
As a general matter, the police can seize anything during an investigation that may serve as evidence of a crime. This can include money and other property such as vehicles, bank accounts, and even houses. Cash is often taken by police in connection with alleged drug crimes.
That’s because the money may have been used to purchase drugs or been obtained from selling drugs. The money could also have theoretically been acquired to commit related crimes, like illegally buying and selling guns.
What Happens to Seized Money?
If the police seize cash, it should be placed in a secured location during the investigation. Theoretically, the money can and will be returned to its rightful owner in certain circumstances. For example, if the person from whom it is taken is ultimately cleared of wrongdoing. This may come in the form of no charges being filed, charges being dropped, or being found not guilty.
However, there are several potential hurdles to getting your money back. For one, money can be easily misplaced. It’s virtually impossible to distinguish your cash from someone else’s. It can be lost or it can even be stolen.
Another issue is not getting the correct amount of money back because it wasn’t counted correctly. Perhaps most of the money was placed in a secured location, but a portion was lost or stolen. Finally, it could take months or even years to get your money back. This almost guarantees additional problems like trying to locate the money or determine who is in charge of it.
The government will keep the money if it is determined that it was used illegally. The agencies responsible for seizing it will split it up. Although the government claims it is careful with how the money is spent, seizing it can still open the door to abuse. At least on paper, however, the money will be used to advance various crime-fighting missions like buying police equipment.
How an Attorney Can Help Return Your Property
If your money has been seized, having a Greenville, SC criminal defense attorney can assist in returning it. This assumes, of course, that the money is not determined to be part of criminal activity. But in general, a knowledgeable attorney will understand search and seizure laws and how they play a role in seized money.
Knowing these laws may expedite the process of returning your money if you are cleared of a crime. Our firm has specifically handled cases of seized assets in Greenville, SC so we know how the process works here.
Hire A Greenville, SC Criminal Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
We work hard to return seized money and other property to our clients. We also fight to exonerate them of criminal charges and clear their names in court. Have you or a loved one been arrested for or charged with a crime? Has your money been taken by police as part of an investigation?
You can count on Boatright Legal to handle all aspects of your criminal case. Connect with our law firm today.