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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4

    Angry What Can The Police Take Under Criminal Forfeiture Laws

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Georgia
    Are officers, Deputies legally able to just take any property that they want to pay for an investigation during a 4th amendment waiver search, and require that I sign it over to them or they will come back and take everything that I have, this according to the Chief D A, . They took my 48 inch wall plasma TV, a video camera, 4 computers, money to the tune of $ 456.00, a bucket of change (these two didn't show up on the property list and several other items) adult CD's and other items not drug related. When I asked about the items not on the list I was told that someone must have burglarized the house while I was locked up, that it wasn't their problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,040

    Default Re: Officer Powers State of Ga

    Do they have a right to automatically convert it t their own use? Generally, no. Can they seize evidence? Generally, yes.

    I'm not sure what you are saying happened here.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,197

    Default Re: Officer Powers State of Ga

    There are a lot of circumstances and detail being left out here. OP, you say this incident was a “4th amendment waiver search,” but then go on to say the seized items were “not drug related.” Reading between the lines (and please correct me if my conclusions are wrong), I’m thinking you are on parole/probation and signed a 4th amendment waiver that allows law enforcement authority to search you, your residence, your vehicle, etc. without a warrant. During such a search of your residence, evidence of drug crimes were discovered. You were subsequently arrested for fresh charges and property from your residence (beyond the direct evidence of drug crimes) was seized.

    Based on your statement that “the Chief DA” presented you with a demand that you “sign it over to them,” I’m guessing that the authorities are claiming that your high-value items are subject to seizure and forfeiture as illicit proceeds of drug trafficking. The statutory authority and specific procedure for such forfeiture varies by state and I am not familiar with the specifics regarding GA. Generally, you are entitled to a hearing before forfeiture. Until a ruling from that hearing is made, the police can seize the property and hold it. You will need to retain an attorney to advise you how to best dispute the forfeiture.

    As for the items you say are missing but not listed on the police property report, there are a few possibilities. One is exactly what you were told…that the items were stolen while you were incarcerated. It is actually not as improbable as you imply…especially if some of your “friends” and acquaintances thought that there might still be drugs in your residence or felt that you still “owed” them from previous drug deals. Another possibility is a simple clerical error. It is possible that you did not get a complete inventory of items seized and they will be accounted for once a complete discovery is made. Of course, it is possible that some cop just stole them. However, it seems unlikely that a cop would risk going to prison, or at the very least flushing his career down the toilet, for “money to the tune of $ 456.00” and “a bucket of change.”
    Behind the badge is a person. Behind the person is an ego. This is as it should be, person at the center and ego to the back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Officer Powers State of Ga

    S O was/is on 4th amendment waiver. I had never been in trouble. They walked into my house, said they were going to search the house because I was on 4th amend. waiver, I told them I was not on the waiver and that I refused to let them search, to get out. They made me sit at my dining table for over an hour while 5 deputies destroyed my bed room. A Sgt walked out and said arrest her we found Meth. I asked where and could I see it. several times but they did not show it to me. My S O was not in the house. The Sgt. had the money in his hand when I was taken away, he later said that he had put it in a BBQ grill and left it for me. It was not there. As too them planting evidence, I do believe so, I obtained a copy of their radio conversations and One of them asked the investigator, You did sanitize that stuff before you brought it out here didn't you? he replied yes that he had. The Chief DA and the Sgt. did not say that the items taken were illicit proceeds of drug trafficking just that they were going to sell them to pay for the investigation. I had receipts for the items. The investigator in a newspaper article said that all of the drugs were found in the business building, a different 911 address. By the Bye; one of their finest is on trial for theft of monies and converting property to his own use from drug raids. So could more be crooked YES. My public defender would not even file a motion to suppress for me. I can not afford a lawyer so I guess I will have to suffer the consequences

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,040

    Default Re: Officer Powers State of Ga

    Your attorney likely did not file a motion to suppress because he could not articulate grounds as to WHY it could be suppressed. If your significant other was on 4th waiver, and he lived with you, then you might as well be.

    If your attorney can connect the officer on trial to YOUR case, then maybe it can work in your favor. But, if he was not involved, the fact that one officer in the agency might be involved in such activity does not legally infer they all are.

    The problem you might have is proving that the law enforcement officers took your stuff. That's going to be hard to prove, especially if you or your significant other ARE involved in the drug trade as users or sellers. The very lifestyle lends itself to opening your doors to predators.

    I HOPE that you are wrong about the officers. But, before any of your claims will get any traction, you will have to get a vigorous defense going. So, you might have to either get on top of your attorney to see what he can do, or, take the risk and hire your own attorney even if you have to borrow the money from somewhere.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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