When you are pulled over for a potential crime and placed under arrest, it is likely that the police will perform a search of your car. If the authorities find things in your car that they believe are the results of a crime, those things can be seized. You are able to ask for return of your possessions, and in order to do so you may have to prove that the stop or the search was not valid, thus anything taken from you should be given back. In order to decide whether to fight for return of your belongings, it is important to first look at what was taken from you. Sometimes the value of the seized items is not worth the fight, but in some cases the value is not necessarily a monetary value. You also have to consider whether the seized items will be used as evidence against you, and how to best defend the case against you in light of the likely evidence that has fallen into the hands of the prosecution.
The Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act governs the seizure of property as part of an arrest, and it requires that whatever the police seize is likely the product of a crime. The three most commonly seized items during an arrest include:
- Drugs or other controlled substances
- Drug paraphernalia, usually found in close proximity to drugs or other substances
- Property belonging to the defendant, such as money or a vehicle, that appear to have been used in connection with a crime or are the proceeds of the crime itself
Any property taken is auctioned off by the police, unless you prove the items were not used as part of any crime with which you have been charged. A finding that seized items are not part of a crime can be beneficial to your overall defense, because if the alleged contraband is not the product of a crime then it may just be that no crime was committed. Establishing facts to that support your defense strategy requires a complete analysis of all of the facts of your case. While it may seem unlikely that a handful of cash found in one pocket is not connected to drugs found I the other, it can be done. Call our office today to speak with a trained criminal defense attorney to learn your options. We will help you make a decision about what type of defense strategy to use, and work towards results that are satisfactory.
For answers to questions about search and seizures, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you reach workable solutions. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.