Title: What Do Police Do With Seized Possessions?
Description: In this video, Daniel explains what happens when police seize money or other items following a traffic stop in the state of Nebraska.
When money or cash is seized by the government during a traffic stop or search of your vehicle, initially that money will be booked into property and kept as evidence. If it is a large sum of money typically the federal government will try to institute what they call civil forfeiture proceedings in an effort to try to keep that money for their own use.
If that were to occur, the DEA would send out a letter to the owner of the cash to notify them of its intent to forfeit the money. The person must respond back to the DEA with their own notice or intent to claim the money and fight the forfeiture. If they do not file this notice with the DEA the money will forever be forfeited and gone.
If notice to fight the forfeiture is filed by the particular person, the case is then forwarded onto the local U.S. Attorney who will initiate what is called a civil forfeiture proceeding in Federal District Court.
The person who the money was seized from has the burden or responsibility to establish that the money was lawfully earned. The government’s position is that this money is the proceeds from some sort of unlawful or elicit operation.
The person who the money was taken from then has to produce evidence of where the money came from, how they came into possession of it and that it was lawfully earned.
If money is seized by law enforcement during a traffic stop and the federal government does not institute civil forfeiture proceedings, here in Nebraska the local government cannot keep those funds. The money most likely would be returned to the individual when the case is over.