From: Harvey Newstrom (mail@HarveyNewstrom.com)
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 13:22:37 MST
Mike Lorrey wrote,
> Samantha Atkins wrote:
> > So the US is no longer a free or capitalistic country since we
> > now have thousands of selectively enforced federal "crimes" and
> > dozens of excuses for forfeiture (forfeiture without due process
> > where you have to prove they should give your property back).
> The forfeiture you speak of is specifically in the case where a person
> has been convicted of a drug trafficking offense, where after criminal
> conviction, their property is seized by the government in civil court
> proceedings, on the basis that the property was purchased, in part or in
> whole, by the proceeds of drug money, leaving the owner to prove that
> they didn't use drug money to obtain the property.
Not always. Not to go off on another whining-about-Florida-rant, but....
In Florida, carrying large sums of cash, say over $10,000, is legally
defined as "suspicious". The police can and do seize such large amounts of
cash under the assumption that it is drug money. The cash can be retrieved
only if the person can prove where it came from and that it was obtained
legally. Any unexplained cash that is not later retrieved is simply kept by
The laws that allow this behavior are based on drug laws. The cash is
seized as "evidence" under "reasonable suspicion" that a crime has been
committed. Since no person is charged with any crime, there are no courts,
rights or procedures to follow. The police in each county can set their own
policies about how people can apply to retrieve their property. This is a
very controversial topic in Florida.
The nation DEA, FDA and IRS have similar powers to sieze property under
suspicion, and it is up to the individual to prove that they are innocent
before they can get their property back.
-- Harvey Newstrom, CISSP <www.HarveyNewstrom.com> Principal Security Consultant, Newstaff Inc. <www.Newstaff.com> Board of Directors, Extropy Institute <www.Extropy.org> Cofounder, Pro-Act <www.ProgressAction.org>
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