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Millions of Dollars Taken by Police from Motorists Who Aren't Charged With Crimes

April 19, 2017, on Criminal Defense Articles |

A New York federal criminal defense attorney can provide representation to individuals who are accused of wrongdoing and facing legal penalties. When you've been accused of committing a crime, you have the right to a lawyer and the right to a trial in which you are treated fairly and viewed as innocent until proven guilty.

You have these rights because of the U.S. Constitution which guarantees, among many other things, the right to life and liberty. Under the constitution, you should not face penalties without due process- like a trial.

Unfortunately, while you can and should assert your rights within the criminal justice system, there are many situations each year where people have a penalty imposed upon them with before they are proven to have violated any laws. That penalty is the loss of valuable assets. When this happens, it may be necessary to fight for more than a year in court to reclaim property, according to the Washington Post. Worse, many people who have had property taken never even end up being charged with a crime at all.

Police are Taking Millions from Motorists

According to the Washington Post, local and state police were encouraged and empowered to become more aggressive in searching motorists on highways and seizing contraband after 9/11. The goal was to catch major drug dealers and others committing serious criminal acts.

The problem is, police allegedly aren't just target drug dealers and going after people only when there is substantial proof a crime has been committed.  The Washington Post claims that many officers are taking money and possessions from average every-day Americans, in part to help fill budgetary gaps. These seizures are being made possible not only because the law allows them, but because there are a whole host of businesses dedicated to helping police take more money from people.

One firm, for example, created Black Asphalt Electronic Networking & Notification System, which lets law enforcement officers nationwide obtain detailed reports about Americans and which helps them to decide which drivers to stop. There are also companies that exist to train police in “highway interdiction,” which is the name given to the practice of stopping motorists and seizing assets.

This has created a “thriving subculture of road officers” who compete “to see who can seize the most cash and contraband,” The Washington Post reports.  Assets can be seized under civil laws on both the state and federal level.  More than 61,998 seizures of cash have occurred since 9/11- all without indictments or search warrants. The value of the assets seized tops $2.5 billion.

If you are accused of wrongdoing, The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC can assist you in fighting to keep your freedom, reputation, and property. With police able to take peoples' assets without even proving a crime was committed, it is clear that the criminal justice system tends to skew in the favor of law enforcement and not individuals. You need an experienced attorney who can help try to level the playing field and ensure you're treated fairly throughout your interactions with the justice system. An attorney can help to fight for your rights.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

I have hired James Tyner to assist me with a few speeding tickets in New York State. I paid Mr. Tyner an affordable flat rate fee and I never had to appear in Court, thus not missing any time from work or school. Mr. Tyner was able to negotiate my speeding tickets down to parking tickets and I was able to keep my license clean. I highly recommend Mr. Tyner's office. He and his staff respond quickly to emails/calls, and I was always provided updates in my cases promptly.