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Police Seizures

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police seizures

Most every state, as well as the U.S. federal government, have police seizures laws that empower a law enforcement agency to seize property that was either used in the commission of a crime, or was purchased with money that was received through the commission of a crime.

Police seizures laws are generally used against drug dealers and organized crime members as another tool in the law enforcement arsenal. Once property is seized it is either converted to the government's use, or it is sold at a police auction.

police seizures laws vary

The laws on police seizures vary between states. Some states have laws that are so broad that they are being challenged in the courts by the ACLU and other watchdog organizations.

In Washington State, for example, the police seizures laws are under close scrutiny by the state legislature itself. Investigations have shown that property has been seized from suspects, who were later found to be not guilty of an offence, yet the law enforcement agencies have refused to return the property and have either transferred ownership to themselves or have disposed of the property through a police auction.

Clearly there needs to be a balance between punishing criminals yet protecting the constitutional rights of innocent citizens. Police seizures laws are rather one-sided and a lot of work remains in achieving a level of fairness.

property at police seizures

So, what kind of property is open to police seizures? You name it and it has probably been seized. Cars, jewelry, planes, boats, furs, homes, anything that has been used in a crime or purchased with money that came from a crime is a fair target.

For example. Let's say some guy is driving down the Interstate in his brand new red 2004 Ferrari 360 Modena with a list price of $147,332. The police stop him for speeding and discover a kilo of pure rock cocaine. Before you can say "It's not mine, it belongs to my friend", the police department is the proud owner of a new undercover drug officer's car and the former owner is still stuck with the payments! If the cops decide to turn that police seizure into cash then the Ferrari is likely to end up at a police auction.

Taking this same guy as an example and say that he is a cocaine dealer. Using money from his illicit trade bought his wife a two carat flawless diamond for $125,000. The police determine that he bought that with drug money and wham! Another police seizure. How about his 2.5 million dollar home in Locust Valley, NY? You guessed it -- police seizures strike again.

Although some level of potential corruption and unfairness may exist in the current laws regarding police seizures, it is still an effective tool for law enforcement, and it could be a windfall for you if those police seizures end up at police auctions!

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Some of the more common auction items include:

used autosmarine vehiclesjet skisaircraftshomesreal estatecommercial propertyfarm equipmentindustrialbusinesselectronicscomputersantiquesartcoinsstampsappliancesgunstravelcollectiblesclothingcraftsboatsbikesmotorcyclesmobile homesjewelrytoyscarstrucksmopedsbicyclescamerastelevisionsclocksfurnitureunclaimed propertyabandoned propertypersonal propertyoffice furniturecondominiumstown homescommercial propertyvacant landsingle family homesmachinerytoolshardwarebuilding supplies

and much, much more...




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