Whether or not you have been accused of a crime, the police can seize any of your assets, turning them over to the government for you to never possess again. This is what is known as civil asset forfeiture, and you don’t have to be arrested or charged with a crime to lose your cash, car, or real estate to the government. Police departments across Florida and the rest of the country have been seizing assets for decades and continue to do so. Here are your rights and how to protect yourself.
What is Asset Forfeiture?
Asset forfeiture is defined as the police’s ability to seize the assets of an entity, organization, or individual, and then keep or sell them. You do not need to be accused or charged with a crime for assets to be seized by the police in Miami or anywhere else in Florida. This process has been in place for quite some time now, with police departments using it to feed their bottom lines. When originally put in place, civil asset forfeiture was used to bring down major criminal enterprises.
Protecting Yourself from Civil Asset Forfeiture Miami
There are different precautions you can take to protect yourself from civil asset forfeiture in Miami. It is entirely up to you to protect yourself and employ these tips to avoid your car, cash, or real estate from being seized by the police and then sold.
Do Not Carry Loads of Cash
Avoid carrying large sums of cash at all times. You never know when an officer might initiate a traffic stop, feel that something is not right, and then search you and your vehicle. If they come across thousands of dollars in cash, they can easily seize it, even if you are sent on your way with or without a ticket. They might suspect you have been dealing in illicit drugs or stole the money from someone else.
Avoid Making Large Deposits Close to Each Other
As you might know, you have to report a deposit of $10,000 or more to the IRS. Many people get around this requirement by making deposits of $9,000 or $8,000. The mistakes are made when you make a string of these smaller deposits.
Be Mindful When Lending Money
Be very careful when lending money. If it is used in the commission of a crime, it can be seized. You may never get that money back and your ‘friend’ or loved one may not be able to repay that loan if they have been arrested and are spending time in jail.
Were Your Assets Seized in Florida? Call Piotrowski Law Today
Are you the victim of civil asset forfeiture in Florida? If so, you need to protect your rights by calling the office of Piotrowski Law today. Give us a call at 305-204-5000 to schedule a consultation. Chad Piotrowski has an extensive history of defending those charged with crimes ranging from DUI to drug possession and drug trafficking.