Highway Patrol Seizes Large Amounts of Cash
Believe it or not if someone carries large amounts of cash, say more than $10,000.00, the Utah Highway Patrol can seize the cash from a driver and the district attorney or United States attorney can commence criminal proceedings against the holder of the cash on grounds that the cash is evidence of drug distribution.
Pretextual Stops and Asset Seizure
Without fail, most stops in Utah which result in asset forfeiture by the Utah Highway Patrol are pretextual, which means that the UHP trooper who makes the stop does so on some feigned reason such as alleging that the driver was following too close, didn’t make a proper lane change, didn’t blink his turn signal for 2 seconds, or has a license plate light out. Such excuses are generally made by the UHP to pull over vehicles from out of state. California, Oregon, and and Colorado vehicles tend to pulled over the most.
The Post-Stop Interrogation
Once the UHP trooper makes the stop he will then begin the interrogation process. This consists of the trooper asking the driver to come back to the trooper’s car to talk to him until the trooper is done writing the “warning” citation. While writing this citation the trooper asks the driver where he was going, who he was going to meet, where he was coming from, etc. He then will ask him questions such as “do you have anything illegal in the car? Any controlled substances? Any large amounts of cash?” In spite, of negative answers to these type of questions the trooper will run his K9 around the car to sniff for drugs or he will call a K9 unit as soon as he stops the vehicle to come assist. The K9 will inevitably make a hit on the car and a search will commence.
If a large amount of cash is found in the vehicle UHP will seize it. The only way to get it back is to make a claim either in federal court or state court and being the litigation process. If you win your lawsuit against the government to recover your money the government has to pay your attorney’s fees.
Experienced Asset Forfeiture Attorneys
If you have been victimized by the UHP and had your money stolen by the State, call our Criminal Defense. Forfeiture laws are egregious and should be unconstitutional but the wise overlords of our government have made these laws and judges have upheld them. Forfeiture laws are not consistent with a free society and are akin to those laws executed in totalitarian societies.
We want to help so call us at 801.413.1753 for a free consultation.