On December 15th, 1791, the bill of rights was ratified. This list of 10 rights guarantees citizens certain unalienable rights. Among these guarantees is the right that no citizen can be subjected to unlawful search and seizure.
This is the 4th amendment and it’s full texts reads:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
This is a strong assurance that the government cannot seize private property without probable cause and due process. Although every citizen has this right guaranteed, current legislation and policies are blurring the lines of what the government can and cannot take and when it can do so. When these lines are blurred it is known as civil asset forfeiture.
Don’t let the big term scare you; an experienced civil rights lawyer can easily handle these cases. Jacqui Ford recently spoke at the Oklahoma state capitol on the matter. In this address she detailed an account of how the state of Oklahoma seized more than $100,000 her client, and has retained the money two years after the criminal case was dismissed. The state was able to do this by claiming the money was in connected to drugs because the it was wrapped in vacuum sealed plastic bags. Despite the fact that there were no drugs found at the time of the seizure and that her client has no history of drug related criminal activity, the money was still taken and is still being held by the state. Ms. Ford is also claiming that the officer did not give her client due process because the he asked the client questions without informing him of his Miranda rights. The officer then used her client’s answers as probable cause to take and hold his money.
Ms. Ford is fighting hard to get this client the money that is rightfully his and she will fight hard for you. If you have had property or money seized by the state call Jacqui Ford (405-604-3200) to defend your constitutional right.