Seizures of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol

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Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol in Cincinnati, OH

If you are a victim of seizure of cash for forfeiture by the Ohio State Patrol (OSP) in Cincinnati, OH, our lawyers may be able to help.

Joslyn Law Firm is consistently ranked among the best criminal defense firms in Cincinnati and Ohio. We are a team of lawyers, paralegals, and investigators who vigorously protect and defend your rights, as well as pursue the return of your money.

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Our Dedicated Team Can Help

Under Ohio Revised Code 2981.01, troopers who see a large amount of cash on you or in your car can seize the money for forfeiture if they believe that it is involved in drug trafficking or money laundering. You must act quickly to defend yourself and pursue recovery of your money before the state permanently keeps it.

We have handled 20,000 cases for clients who need help in the complex criminal justice system. You have the right to a vigorous defense if you are facing seizure of cash for forfeiture and any associated criminal charges. Call Joslyn Law Firm today for a free consultation: (513) 399-6289. The sooner you call, the faster we can help.

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Attorney for Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol in Cincinnati

We are familiar with state and federal seizure for forfeiture laws. It is our goal to help clients recover all their cash and assets.

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Cincinnati, OH Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol Information Center

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Overview of Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol

Forfeiture laws allow law enforcement agencies such as the Ohio State Patrol to take cash, property, or assets that they believe are associated with a crime. This is known as civil asset forfeiture. The practice of seizing suspected cash and property is meant to discourage drug traffickers, money launderers, and other shady characters because it disrupts and deprives them of the means to continue illegal activities.

Unfortunately, because the seizure of cash targets only the money, people who are innocent owners become caught in the tangled criminal justice system. It is up to you to prove that your cash is not associated with illegal activity. If you fail to adequately defend yourself, the law enforcement agency or the local government could permanently keep your cash.

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Cash and Other Assets Are Fair Game for Law Enforcement Seizure

In addition to taking large amounts of cash, the Ohio State Patrol (and other law enforcement agencies in Cincinnati) may seize other assets if they have probable cause that these assets are involved or the ill-gotten gains from crime.

These civil assets include:

  • Homes, condominiums, vacation homes, and land
  • Cars, boats, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles
  • Jewelry, watches, antiques, and furs
  • Artwork
  • Stocks, bonds, and annuities

Once your property is in the hands of the Ohio State Patrol, it is difficult to extract it. The state does not have to criminally prosecute you in order to permanently retain your cash if the amount exceeds $15,000. All sales from forfeiture cash and property are used to bolster the budget of state law enforcement, including the Ohio State Patrol.

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Procedures for Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol

Many cash seizures happen during routine traffic stops. A trooper who sees a large amount of cash in your vehicle may question you about its origin and its purpose. If your cash is seized, your best action is to stay calm and connect with a Cincinnati seizure for forfeiture attorney to protect and defend your rights.

Under legislation HB 347, the state of Ohio cannot forfeiture cash or other assets valued at less than $15,000 unless you are criminally prosecuted. However, the state may retain the cash for such purposes as:

  • Evidence
  • Contraband
  • Safekeeping

Seized cash must be turned over to the Seizure Forfeiture Unit (SFU) within 14 days. You will be given a voucher for your cash that will be shown. If you can successfully recover your money, take the voucher and proper identification with you to reclaim your cash.

What Happens to Your Money?

Proceeds from seized cash for forfeiture can be used to fund different programs, including:

  • Law enforcement budgets
  • Investigative programs
  • Equipment
  • Restitution payments for crime victims
  • Prosecutorial budgets
  • Drug education and prevention programs
  • School budgets

Forfeiture laws allow the government to keep seized cash and property to either destroy (for example, destroying marijuana crops) or sell these assets and keep the proceeds.

Evidence in Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture in Cincinnati

Before ownership of your cash is forfeited to the state, prosecutors must show sufficient proof that the money was used or intended to be used to commit a crime or is the proceeds of a crime. The burden of proof is based upon the likelihood that this assumption is true. Legally, this evidentiary burden is called a “preponderance of evidence.”

How the Ohio State Patrol Could Seize Your Cash

The Ohio State Patrol has jurisdiction on all public roadways within Ohio, as well as property owned by the state, according to Ohio Revised Code 5503.02. The Ohio State Patrol (OSP) is the primary state law enforcement agency in the state.

Their mission is to:

  • Reduce traffic accidents on Ohio roadways.
  • Support other law enforcement agencies.
  • Offer security for the Governor and other dignitaries.
  • Gather evidence of criminal activities on all state-owned properties.
  • Facilitate traffic services during local, state, and national emergencies.

The OSP has 1,600 sworn officers, and an additional are 1,000 individuals who work in support capacities, such as dispatchers, motor vehicle inspectors, and more. The Ohio State Patrol is a division of the Department of Public Safety.


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Defenses for Recovering Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture by Ohio State Patrol

If you have had cash seized by the Ohio State Patrol, an attorney with Joslyn Law Firm can craft a defense based on the specifics of your case. This often includes several attacks to the prosecution’s case, which might include:

  • Challenge the legality of the traffic stop by Ohio State Patrol
  • Question legality of the search and seizure
  • Identify unlawful questioning or interrogation (such as denying you the right to have an attorney present during questioning)
  • Invalid search warrants
  • Inadmissible evidence based upon circumstantial evidence, hearsay, or character evidence

A lawyer with our firm may also use a commingled asset defense. This is common in the case of cash seized by a spouse who is unaware of illegal activity committed by his or her partner.

We Investigate the Circumstances of Your Cash Seizure

One of the most important aspects of building a defense to keep and retain ownership of your money is to investigate the circumstances surrounding your case. A lawyer with our firm will want to know as much as possible about the events and timeline that occurred before, during, and after the seizure.

An attorney might ask you questions such as:

  • When and where was your property seized?
  • Can you prove that you are the true owner, or can you identify the true owner?
  • If you are the true owner, how did you accumulate the cash (for example, winnings from a legitimate, licensed casino)?
  • What is the reason for carrying such a large amount of cash (for example, not being able to get a bank check because it is after hours)?
  • Did you consent to a search by law enforcement?
  • Are there any witnesses who can substantiate your story?
  • Do you believe that you were targeted by the police based upon race, national origin, gender, or other reason?
  • Were you interviewed by police? If so, did they tell you if you were being charged? Were you allowed to call an attorney?
  • Do you feel that the police used undue force, harassment, or other inappropriate techniques when questioning you?

Remember, it is your right to remain silent and wait until you have an attorney present before responding to any questions. You could inadvertently jeopardize your situation and make it more difficult to recover your cash if there is a forfeiture hearing.

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Resources for Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture

Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Office Civil Division of Forfeitures: The Prosecutor’s Office must use all forfeiture to support law enforcement agencies and activities. In addition, at least ten percent of forfeited assets should be used for drug education programs, including:

  • DARE
  • Center for Addiction Treatment
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Life Learning Center
  • School of Creative and Performing Arts
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati
  • YWCA
  • Baptist Minister’s Conference
  • Higher Education Mentoring Initiative
  • Lighthouse Youth and Family Services

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2981.05(D)

This statute describes the rights and responsibilities for an individual to petition the court for release of seized cash and property, including:

  • Proof of ownership or interest
  • Reasons why seizure was illegal
  • A formal request for cash to be returned

Public Notices Ohio

A free and easy resource for searching forfeiture asset auctions and foreclosed property in Cincinnati and throughout Ohio. The state is obligated to publish sales of seized property and assets when they are sold at public auction.

Criminal Law Casebook on Forfeitures

An intensive resource from the Ohio Public Defender’s Office with links to state laws related to forfeitures.

Franklin County Law Library

Research information on statutes, landmark cases, and other legal information related to civil asset forfeiture laws.

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News on Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture

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FAQs about Seizure of Cash for Forfeitures by Ohio State Patrol

Q. How much cash is considered suspicious by Ohio State Patrol troopers?

  1. Any amount of cash could be regarded with suspicion depending on the police officer. The U.S. Custom and Border Patrol requires travelers to declare $10,000 or greater in cash that they are trying to bring in or out of the country.


Q. I had $8,000 in cash from a night at the casino that was seized by the Ohio State Patrol. Can I get it back?

  1. Ohio law has eased its restrictions on seized amounts less than $15,000. You could ask the casino to give you a receipt or some other type of proof that you won the cash at their facility.


Q. Do the police need a warrant to search my car?

  1. The police do not always need a warrant to search your car if they have probable cause that the money was used or is intended for use in a crime.


Q. What happens to the money that is seized by the Ohio State Patrol?

  1. All cash, property, and assets are to be used for law enforcement, drug education, and other civil programs that benefit the general public.


Q. Can I represent myself in a forfeiture hearing?

  1. You are not required to have an attorney represent you at a forfeiture hearing, but you should know that the state will be represented by experienced prosecutors. The odds may be more in your favor if you have a lawyer who understands these cases and can argue for the best possible outcome.

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Get a Free Consultation Today About Your Seizure of Cash for Forfeiture in Cincinnati

If you are the victim of seizure of cash for forfeiture by the Ohio State Patrol in Cincinnati, Ohio, you have rights that deserve vigorous protection. An attorney with Joslyn Law Firm can help you with your case, but only if you take the first step and call for a free consultation.

Our firm is ready and eager to help you get the best possible results. Call (513) 399-6289 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
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