Seizures and Forfeitures in Washington Drug Case Crimes.

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Seizures - Forfeitures

  • You have a right to fight seizure of your property.
  • Limited amount of time to request a hearing.

 

Washington law permits the forfeiture of property involved in drug crimes. RCW 69.50.505 - Seizure and forfeiture.

This  means that the police can take, keep, and sell certain private property  if they can show it was used in connection with a Washington VUCSA or  drug related crime.

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Burg/Fulton: Trusted, Experienced, Ready to Help!

Property commonly seized includes:

  • Vehicles (cars, trucks, boats,  planes, RV's, etc.): which were used or intended for use to facilitate  the delivery of controlled substances;
  • Money: furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for a controlled substance;
  • Real Estate Property (houses, condos, apartments etc.): connected to the cultivation, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance.

If your property was seized under this law, you have a limited amount of  time to request a hearing regarding the seizure and forfeiture of your  property.

If you fail to notify the agency within this limited time  period, you will forfeit any claim you have to that property and it  becomes the property of the government.

If you do request a hearing in time, the police must prove that they had  probable cause to believe that the seized items were the proceeds of, or  used, or intended to be used in illegal drug activities.

Burden of Proof

Then  the burden shifts to you to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence"  that the property was not used in connection with any illegal drug  activity.

A preponderance of the evidence means that it is more  probably true than not true that the property was not used in connection  with a drug crime.

Note: although the law is clear that your property cannot be seized if it was used in connection with the receipt of less than 40 grams of marijuana, it is important to note that the delivery or sale of any amount of marijuana will justify police seizure of your property.

Accused of a Washington State drug or VUCSA crime?

Call Now: 206-467-2607

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