This is a phrase that, as a lawyer, I hear from my clients when their money, car, purses, mobile phones, and just about anything is seized at the border or a checkpoint by the Border Patrol or any police agency. It is confusing because the legal term is seized or confiscated by police ( Confiscacion in Spanish by la policia) by law enforcement. What the people who call forfeiture fighters or San Diego Defenders want to know is “how do I get my stuff back?” In many cases, the police department will tell them that the property has been impounded and will not be released for 30 days, or that it is under investigation. The truth is that the forfeiture department of my law office can find out a lot about the why their things are being taken away if they just walk in and tell us what happened. We know what questions to ask. In many cases we can get your property back if we can show that it was not being used for an illegal or criminal purpose, and/or it was not purchased with money made from an illegal act. For instance, it is not against the law to carry money and it cannot just be assumed it is from doing something illegal like smuggling drugs. One thing is for sure, if you wait too long to come in and get us working on your case, it makes it much more difficult to get back. For instance, if your car has been seized, there are storage and impound fees along with towing fees that may not make it worthwhile to get the car back. We can help long before you receive the Notice of Seizure and Forfeiture together with the Election of Proceedings Form AF-Post, or before you see it listed in the www.forfeiture.gov website. Read the postings on our www.forfeiturefighter.com page or on our web page to talk to one of our Chula Vista lawyers who understand how to get your things back from the Government as soon as is possible. We are located close to the I-5 freeway and the 805 by the border. So if you want to know how soon you should call, the answer is that you should call now, we can help.
In December 2011, Terrance Huff and Jon Seaton were returning home to Ohio after a Star Trek exhibit in St. Louis via Interstate 70 when they were pulled over by Collinsville Officer Michael Reichert. What follows the stop is a too often seen police tactic to pressure an individual to give up his or her 4th amendment right and allow a search of their vehicle without probable cause. When Mr. Huff does not fall for Officer Reichert’s tactics, Officer Reichert decides that his K-9 dog needs to smell the vehicle for drugs. Conveniently the K-9 unit indicates the presence of drugs in Mr. Huff’s vehicle and a search of the vehicle is conducted by Officer Reichert-no drugs are found. Below is the video of the entire incident beginning to end. It is important for anyone stopped for suspicion of a DUI or any crime, to remember their 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.