How Long Can The Police Keep My Property?Posted on November 22, 2022
Civil Asset Forfeiture Lawyer
Once the police have seized your property, you may wonder what your next steps are. Should you try to forget about it because it is now a part of a criminal investigation? Should you fight to get it back? If you were told you would eventually get your property back, how long would that take? There are so many questions you may have when something like this happens and it can feel very overwhelming. It can be highly beneficial to work with a trusted lawyer during this process as it can be very difficult to navigate and you may not be sure of your rights.
Can the police keep and sell my property?
Unfortunately, it is possible for the police department to not only keep your property but also sell it. To do this, they would need to file a civil forfeiture action. If successful, this could grant them permission to hold onto your property and eventually sell it.
What if someone else was arrested for the crime and I had nothing to do with it?
It can be difficult to push forward with this process when you want to think of “innocent until proven guilty.” In fact, even if you did not commit the crime related to this property, it can feel like the police are coming after you. You do have the right to your property and you will need to show that you were innocently involved in this. To do this, you will likely need the help of a lawyer, like a Bloomington, IL civil asset forfeiture lawyer from a law firm like Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. If someone else has been arrested for a crime involving your property, your lawyer can fight to get your property back by showing you were not involved in the criminal act and that you had no reason to know of the crime going on.
Is this legal?
Many people question whether this is legal. Others question whether something like this could be an abuse of police power. The answer is that it can be both. While civil forfeiture laws were not designed to harm innocent people, they often do a great deal of harm in the name of doing something good. Civil asset forfeiture laws were designed to punish criminals, not those with no knowledge of the crime. However, many people are finding that even if they were not originally involved in the crime, the police officers can not only take their property but sell it and use it for the police station. Because people are often scared to go against the government, many people have chosen not to fight to get their property back.
Do not let this be you. If the police have taken your property and you do not see an end in sight, give your local law firm a call. It is time to end this cycle of abuse. Call your local law office to begin the fight to get your property back.