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Age of the Shakedown

Police officers are entitled to seize money that they find during raids and sting operations. As many across the country are beginning to find out, police officers are finding ways to work around the law in order to seize money from ordinary citizens. These instances are called roadside seizures. An officer can pull you over for a minor infraction and ask to search your vehicle. If they find any amount of money, it doesn’t matter how small or how large, they can ask you to sign a waiver. The waiver states that if you sign over the money to the police officer, everything will just go away. If you refuse to sign the waiver, the officers will seize the money as probable cause that the money is proceeds of a crime. You are allowed to fight to get your money back, but that will take some time. Bruce Levenson has read that, on average, it will take a person a year or two to get back any money lost. By that time, a person will have spent more money in legal fees than what they actually lost. The driver will also have to prove that the money was not intended to be used in acts of crime. The Washington Post released a statement about the traffic seizures. In the past 13 years, 61,998 instances of cash seizures were reported. This allowed American police departments to bring in 2.5 billion dollars. The Washington Post has released this information to the public with the intent to arm the public with knowledge of these police acts. It is also causing quite an uproar in the political community where people are testing their hand at making laws that would ensure that police would no longer be able to search for and seize money.

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