Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

What to Do if Your Assets are Seized by the Police

A Massachusetts drug raid recently resulted in multiple arrests and the seizure of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of drugs and cash. The investigation came after complaints were received concerning alleged drug dealing in the area. Some even went so far as to describe the area as a “drive-thru” drug store. Surveillance performed by police substantiated neighborhood complaints and detailed that frequent drug trades were occurring. Additionally, search warrants were secured to search the area for a large quantity of mushrooms as well as THC-containing products and cash. The suspects questioned will be arraigned in Dedham District Court. 

Many times, when law enforcement performs an arrest, they also seize personal assets. Based on the facts surrounding the arrest as well as the type of property seized, you may or may not be able to reclaim your property. Law enforcement may have broad power to seize your  property, but there are steps you can take to reclaim your assets.

Remember, if law enforcement seized assets during an arrest, they must provide you with a receipt that indicates what items they have. If an asset is seized during a police search, the police must complete an itemization of property seized.

Common Reasons Why Massachusetts Law Enforcement Seizes Property

In determining whether you will get your assets back, you should start by asking why Massachusetts law enforcement took them in the first place. Some of the most common reasons why the police take property include:

  • Safekeeping. Law enforcement sometimes seizes assets to safeguard their theft. These cases typically arise during traffic stops. Provided you are not charged with anything and the seized items serve no purpose to law enforcement, the items often can be returned to the rightful owner at the police station. 

  • Forfeiture. Law enforcement sometimes seizes certain assets because they think the assets were either used or obtained during the commission of a crime. If this is true, law enforcement will likely permanently retain the asset. For example, this type of forfeiture might involve drug paraphernalia.

  • Contraband. Contraband includes property that law enforcement seizes because it is a criminal offense to have it. The category of contraband includes illegal drugs as well as unlicensed weapons and counterfeit money. If you are charged with possession of contraband, the police will hold the asset as evidence until your case resolves and then destroy the contraband. 

  • Evidence. Based on how the seizure occurred, some assets might not be contraband or subject to forfeiture but are still necessary to prosecute a criminal case. Property in these situations is often held until the conclusion of the case.

Contact a Drug Crime Defense Attorney

Regardless of the nature of your Massachusetts drug charge, one of the best things that you can do is to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Do not hesitate to contact Attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.