Some people don’t realize the Utah forfeiture laws allow law enforcement officials to seize assets, including cash, if such property is involved in a crime. The laws which allow the state to seize your property and money are stacked heavily in favor of the police. A few individuals in West Jordan, Utah, learned this when after a routine field training exercise, a few police dogs apparently sniffed and indicated a storage unit which was later found to contain $230,000.00 plus in a suit case. The dogs supposedly smelled drug residue on the cash and the police are claiming that is sufficient to seize the money. No drugs or any illegal substances or weapons were found in the storage unit, yet the state has taken all of the money and refuse to return it to the owners. While the owners of the money have not been charged with any crime, federal authorities are claiming the money is “dirty” and falls under the rules allowing them to take the cash for the state’s own purposes. Federal authorities claim the law allows them to seize any property involved in a crime regardless of whether or not the current owners of the property were involved.
While West Jordan police obtained a search warrant, there are serious legal questions about the authority the police exercised in the investigation. The cops claimed the entire storage unit smelled like marijuana, and have now seemingly turned the case over to the feds. The money was all in $100 and $20 bills. A federal judge who initially awarded the money to the state and barred any further claims to the case, vacated that decision and has now allowed the owners to bring their claim for return of the property.
Salt Lake City Forfeiture Attorney
If you have been charged with a crime and/or have property seized by the police, you should speak to a Salt Lake City forfeiture attorney as soon as possible. You only have a limited time in which to bring a claim for the return of your assets, don’t miss any deadlines, call and speak to a member of the Salcido Law Firm legal team immediately. We have helped numerous individuals in cases similar to the case mentioned above.
Salcido Law Firm – Criminal Defense Lawyers
At Salcido Law Firm, we understand that having a large sum of cash does not mean you are guilty of any crime, nor does it mean the state is legally justified in taking your property or money. We work hard on your behalf to protect you from the often over reaching and illegal activity of the state. Call and speak with one of criminal defense lawyers in Utah now at 801.618.1334.