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Not that I carry cash in such large amounts, but still an unfortunate situation.

Link to story: http://www.newschannel5.com/story/18241221/man-loses-22000-in-ne...

The tl;dw is a guy had $22k in cash in his car, got pulled over for speeding in TN. Cop asked if he had large amounts of cash, he said yes, cop asked to search his car, he said yes (granted, he made a mistake here). They took his $22k, even though he stated it was for open bids for cars on eBay. Took 4 months and an appeal to get his Cash Back (including another visit to TN). Also, the guy had a previous (20 years previous) cocaine possession charge (no conviction).

Various details missing from the story, but I know some forum members have asked questions about carrying large amounts of cash previously. Here's another reason not to?

1. Are there other states like this with odd ball civil forfeiture?
2. Other things to be aware of (other than the basics about knowing your rights regarding saying "no" to searching your car)?
3. Or is this some edge case that doesn't happen often?

Previously on FWF:
Carrying $70K cash on flight. Seeking advice
how much cash can you carry on a domestic flight without declaring?

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I carry $10k in cash with me and make $1k deposits at the ATM all the time. Never had a problem.

qcumber98 said:   I carry $10k in cash with me and make $1k deposits at the ATM all the time. Never had a problem.

In TN?

Most states plus the feds have civil forfeiture laws. Meaning that it's not "odd ball" at all.

Rather it's an un-American grab by The Man.

Amazing story, thanks for posting it.

Too lazy to look it up right now, but there is actually a county in Texas that is being sued for this particular practice.


Sounds like the story highlighted by national news of a Texas small town some years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenaha,_Texas

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Property-seized-...

This is always a Hot Topic for "Coin Roll Hunters". You can't buy rolls of coins with a check from a bank that you don't have an account at, therefore you need cash.

I believe that the same news channel ran statistics on the Tennessee state police before showing how much more frequently they pull people over on the "Money" side of the highway rather than the "Drug" side putting shame to their argument that it's all about stopping the drugs.

It's sad that we have gotten to the point where it's unamerican to save up your money.

A very similar incident happened to someone I know while they were traveling with a large sum ($15k+) of money through AZ. Only difference is that they aggressively 'convinced' him into signing an affidavit that declared the money to not belong to him, and that he had no knowledge of where the money came from. His only other option, as told by the police, was for them to arrest him and open an investigation with the IRS and FBI. He turned over the money.

The victim from OP should be glad he wasn't in NYC. The officer would have alleged he failed a sobriety test (or solicited him, or "found" a small amount of drugs in his trunk) and seized his car as property facilitating a crime. Innocence of the criminal charge is insufficient to recover his car, and failing to follow exacting administrative rules and/or if the police win a civil case with a low burden of proof against his car, they keep it permanently.

http://www.nycdwilaw.com/html/car-forfeiture.html
http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/outreach/safedige/spring2004/SPR04_W...

nothingevertodo said:   A very similar incident happened to someone I know while they were traveling with a large sum ($15k+) of money through AZ. Only difference is that they aggressively 'convinced' him into signing an affidavit that declared the money to not belong to him, and that he had no knowledge of where the money came from. His only other option, as told by the police, was for them to arrest him and open an investigation with the IRS and FBI. He turned over the money.
Why would he agree to that? Was was he hiding?

sfvera said:   nothingevertodo said:   A very similar incident happened to someone I know while they were traveling with a large sum ($15k+) of money through AZ. Only difference is that they aggressively 'convinced' him into signing an affidavit that declared the money to not belong to him, and that he had no knowledge of where the money came from. His only other option, as told by the police, was for them to arrest him and open an investigation with the IRS and FBI. He turned over the money.
Why would he agree to that? Was was he hiding?


Without going into too much detail; If the IRS/FBI were to seriously launch an investigation on him, he would have likely lost more than just the money he was carrying. Nevertheless, he hadn't committed any crimes at the time and had fully cooperated with the police during the stop. After being pulled over with out-of-state plates, he was very quickly asked, "are you carrying a large sum of money" to which he replied "YES". It appears as though many police units have become quite good at extracting money from people traveling across state lines.

I hate to say this but there are only three things you should ever say to a cop (as politely as possible of course.)

1. I do not consent to any searches.
2. Am I free to go?
3. I want a lawyer and refuse to answer any questions until I've spoken with one.

Edit: In addition to the above, some more pragmatic advice would be "don't carry large amounts of cash."

Edit #2: Just to clarify, if I witness an actual crime I will freely tell the police anything and everything I know. Unlike the die-hard ACLU types I realize that as a law-abiding citizen I'm probably a hundred times more likely to be victimized by a hoodlum than by a bad cop, and I want criminals to end up in jail. If I haven't witnessed a crime though I'm also aware that there's no possible way that talking to the police can help me or anyone else.

ppatin said:   I hate to say this but there are only three things you should ever say to a cop (as politely as possible of course.)

1. I do not consent to any searches.
2. Am I free to go?
3. I want a lawyer and refuse to answer any questions until I've spoken with one.

I have always wondered, if you say, I want a lawyer, do they have to provide you one or you have to get your own and until then you sit in a prison cell?
Also, if you do not consent to any search, can they detain you until they get a judge to sign a search warrant?

HumDoHamaraDo said:   Also, if you do not consent to any search, can they detain you until they get a judge to sign a search warrant?

IANAL, but I believe that in at least some states for a consent search to be valid you must be told you are free to leave before the cops can ask you to search your car. The realistic outcome in most jurisdictions if you refuse a search is that they'll let you go. Trying this approach in the rural deep South might not work so well though, don't count on the Constitution carrying a ton of weight in Redneckville, Alabama.

It ain't right, but this can happen anywhere in the US. All justified in the name of the wonderful "'War' on (Some) Drugs".

ppatin said:   HumDoHamaraDo said:   Also, if you do not consent to any search, can they detain you until they get a judge to sign a search warrant?

IANAL, but I believe that in at least some states for a consent search to be valid you must be told you are free to leave before the cops can ask you to search your car. The realistic outcome in most jurisdictions if you refuse a search is that they'll let you go. Trying this approach in the rural deep South might not work so well though, don't count on the Constitution carrying a ton of weight in Redneckville, Alabama.


I knew a very conservative hard @ss cop in MS- he told me to never let them volunatarily search your car- even if you are 100% for real perfectly clean, there is a really really small chance one of you friends lost some drugs or some crap in your car under your seat- drug dog finds it, you are screwed- end of story.

In at least one state, and presumably more, if you do not
Consent to a search, you can be forced to remain roadside until a drug dog is called and does a walk around.

Apparently not many of the posters have been arrested or stopped and searched before.
If the police want to search your car, they will.
The only difference in withholding consent is that you might beat the case in court, but your car will still be searched and you will still be going to jail (initially) if they find your booty, ill-gotten or legit.

One time I was pulled over by a cop, who pulled up close behind me. He obviously called for backup as a state trooper arrived and blocked my car from the front to make sure I wasn't going to try to run. The cop NEVER stated why he stopped me. The state trooper began questioning me and after he found out I was a veteran, I worked for the gov't, and tried to unsuccessfully trip up my story several times, simply left.

The cop on the other hand, arrested me because the front license plate holder had fell off the car and I had the front plate in the window, which he couldn't see until he had walked around my vehicle several times LOOKING for something wrong with my car. Mind you, I had a brand new 40" TV, I got on clearance (no box), in the front seat because it wouldn't fit in the back and I had to let the passenger seat down to fit it in the car. He never asked where I was coming from, where I was going, or even if he could search the car. (Which I would have said no, because I didn't trust him and he looked like the type that would plant drugs or a gun to frame me.)

With no warrants or even prior arrests, he wanted me to pay some outrageous amount for bond or stay in jail til trial. He left me sitting alone for a long period of time so I started drawing on a napkin. A Captain came by and saw the drawing and asked me about it. We got to talking and he told me I could request an I-Bond, where since I had no priors they would release me for free the same day. When the cop got back I wiped that smug smile off his face when I demanded an I-Bond.

Long story short. It seems that this cop had been arresting people for minor violations left and right, even UNDERCOVER POLICEMEN who had identified themselves to him and were ON DUTY at the time. The judge was so upset at the cop that he was throwing out cases left and right, including mine.

So if a cop stops you and you havent done anything, just say no to the search and request an I-Bond if they take you in.

watchtower77 said:   Apparently not many of the posters have been arrested or stopped and searched before.
If the police want to search your car, they will.
The only difference in withholding consent is that you might beat the case in court, but your car will still be searched and you will still be going to jail (initially) if they find your booty, ill-gotten or legit.


Maybe in redneckville, but in some states the Bill of Rights actually carries some weight. I have my complaints about the judiciary in Maryland, but at least I can be confident that judges in this state won't hesitate to tear into a police officer who conducts an illegal search.

Yikes... I can see very few situations where carrying cash is a good idea.
At the very worst these people should have bought a few coins and hid them in a few places... Much better idea: mail them registered to their destination.

Also, if you're carrying a gun/cash/coins/booze in your body then speeding/having lights out/not following all traffic laws is incredibly stupid.

ppatin said:   HumDoHamaraDo said:   Also, if you do not consent to any search, can they detain you until they get a judge to sign a search warrant?

IANAL, but I believe that in at least some states for a consent search to be valid you must be told you are free to leave before the cops can ask you to search your car. The realistic outcome in most jurisdictions if you refuse a search is that they'll let you go. Trying this approach in the rural deep South might not work so well though, don't count on the Constitution carrying a ton of weight in Redneckville, Alabama.


Gee wiz, us dumb southerners just love to be educated on the Constitution. It so helps us when you bring up bastions of freedom like Californ-i-a or cops beating to death homeless men who are begging for their dad to save them. Or even better,we really like to hear some stories about how they round up people in Ariziona because of their color.

Ah shucks, gotta go, Andy Griffith is coming on and my sister/wife will be home any minute to cook the 'possum for some vittles.

Welcome to the new Gestapo, arent you happy with the pretty little for profit prison system we have going. Let out the rapists and murders so we can have room for potheads and hippies. But drugs are bad mmmmk, the fact of the matter is the drug war is worse and it only empowers cartels spilling over the border and encourages police to become corrupt to steal money to pay for a larger police force. At least the guy got the Cash Back, many do not.

Look what is happening in Louisiana:

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/05/louisiana_is_the_wor...

Be aware and share the message, these are not police departments but gangs hiding in disguise.

saladdin said:   ppatin said:   HumDoHamaraDo said:   Also, if you do not consent to any search, can they detain you until they get a judge to sign a search warrant?

IANAL, but I believe that in at least some states for a consent search to be valid you must be told you are free to leave before the cops can ask you to search your car. The realistic outcome in most jurisdictions if you refuse a search is that they'll let you go. Trying this approach in the rural deep South might not work so well though, don't count on the Constitution carrying a ton of weight in Redneckville, Alabama.


Gee wiz, us dumb southerners just love to be educated on the Constitution. It so helps us when you bring up bastions of freedom like Californ-i-a or cops beating to death homeless men who are begging for their dad to save them. Or even better,we really like to hear some stories about how they round up people in Ariziona because of their color.

Ah shucks, gotta go, Andy Griffith is coming on and my sister/wife will be home any minute to cook the 'possum for some vittles.


California has bad cops but at least the courts hold them accountable. For rotten police departments in the US it's still pretty hard to beat New Orleans where officers have been engaging in crimes up to and including murder for years.

Seriously messed up how bad it is in some places.
I'd say we identify all those localities and states and keep our time and money out of the there. No vacationing there, avoid traveling there for business. No transactions there.

Figure by patronizing the region its: heads they win, tails we lose.
-Heads: We support their economy with our dollars, legitimizing and accepting the corruption and their administration
-Tails: We lose big. We went there with $$ and lost it when we got pulled over and had some cop plant drugs in the car.... and now we're in Jail.

In regards to this:
xerty said:   The victim from OP should be glad he wasn't in NYC. The officer would have alleged he failed a sobriety test (or solicited him, or "found" a small amount of drugs in his trunk) and seized his car as property facilitating a crime. Innocence of the criminal charge is insufficient to recover his car, and failing to follow exacting administrative rules and/or if the police win a civil case with a low burden of proof against his car, they keep it permanently.

http://www.nycdwilaw.com/html/car-forfeiture.html
http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/outreach/safedige/spring2004/SPR04_W...


I haven't seen too many questionable seizures hit the news in NYC. Media would love a case like this and it would cause immediate protests. Figure occupy wall street started here.

The last major questionable seizure was the use of eminent domain to push through the Brooklyn Yards project.

What is a lot or a large amount of cash, and is answering or answering with the whole and complete truth required?

Hmm Tennessee, sure he wasn't running 'shine ?

suuave said:   One time I was pulled over by a cop, who pulled up close behind me. He obviously called for backup as a state trooper arrived and blocked my car from the front to make sure I wasn't going to try to run. The cop NEVER stated why he stopped me. The state trooper began questioning me and after he found out I was a veteran, I worked for the gov't, and tried to unsuccessfully trip up my story several times, simply left.

The cop on the other hand, arrested me because the front license plate holder had fell off the car and I had the front plate in the window, which he couldn't see until he had walked around my vehicle several times LOOKING for something wrong with my car. Mind you, I had a brand new 40" TV, I got on clearance (no box), in the front seat because it wouldn't fit in the back and I had to let the passenger seat down to fit it in the car. He never asked where I was coming from, where I was going, or even if he could search the car. (Which I would have said no, because I didn't trust him and he looked like the type that would plant drugs or a gun to frame me.)

With no warrants or even prior arrests, he wanted me to pay some outrageous amount for bond or stay in jail til trial. He left me sitting alone for a long period of time so I started drawing on a napkin. A Captain came by and saw the drawing and asked me about it. We got to talking and he told me I could request an I-Bond, where since I had no priors they would release me for free the same day. When the cop got back I wiped that smug smile off his face when I demanded an I-Bond.

Long story short. It seems that this cop had been arresting people for minor violations left and right, even UNDERCOVER POLICEMEN who had identified themselves to him and were ON DUTY at the time. The judge was so upset at the cop that he was throwing out cases left and right, including mine.

So if a cop stops you and you havent done anything, just say no to the search and request an I-Bond if they take you in.


What?? I think you posting in wrong thread heheheheh

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1090220/

I thought the SCOTUS ruled (last year? two years ago?) that cops could search your car for whatever reason? I'm afraid just refusing a search will cause the cop to pull me out of the driver's side window and arrest me for "resisting".

suuave said:   One time I was pulled over by a cop, who pulled up close behind me. He obviously called for backup as a state trooper arrived and blocked my car from the front to make sure I wasn't going to try to run. The cop NEVER stated why he stopped me. The state trooper began questioning me and after he found out I was a veteran, I worked for the gov't, and tried to unsuccessfully trip up my story several times, simply left.

The cop on the other hand, arrested me because the front license plate holder had fell off the car and I had the front plate in the window, which he couldn't see until he had walked around my vehicle several times LOOKING for something wrong with my car. Mind you, I had a brand new 40" TV, I got on clearance (no box), in the front seat because it wouldn't fit in the back and I had to let the passenger seat down to fit it in the car. He never asked where I was coming from, where I was going, or even if he could search the car. (Which I would have said no, because I didn't trust him and he looked like the type that would plant drugs or a gun to frame me.)

With no warrants or even prior arrests, he wanted me to pay some outrageous amount for bond or stay in jail til trial. He left me sitting alone for a long period of time so I started drawing on a napkin. A Captain came by and saw the drawing and asked me about it. We got to talking and he told me I could request an I-Bond, where since I had no priors they would release me for free the same day. When the cop got back I wiped that smug smile off his face when I demanded an I-Bond.

Long story short. It seems that this cop had been arresting people for minor violations left and right, even UNDERCOVER POLICEMEN who had identified themselves to him and were ON DUTY at the time. The judge was so upset at the cop that he was throwing out cases left and right, including mine.

So if a cop stops you and you havent done anything, just say no to the search and request an I-Bond if they take you in.


Am I the only one that is wondering WHAT you were drawing and why it SEEMS so pertinent to the story?

Lemme guess, it was either just a doodle of the letters "ACLU", or it was a very good likeness of the arresting officer, with either swine-like features, or lots of bruises and bloody wounds. Or just tons of "Dollar Signs", like the Riddler's "Question Mark" suit??????????????????????

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

suuave said:   One time I was pulled over by a cop, who pulled up close behind me. He obviously called for backup as a state trooper arrived and blocked my car from the front to make sure I wasn't going to try to run. The cop NEVER stated why he stopped me. The state trooper began questioning me and after he found out I was a veteran, I worked for the gov't, and tried to unsuccessfully trip up my story several times, simply left.

The cop on the other hand, arrested me because the front license plate holder had fell off the car and I had the front plate in the window, which he couldn't see until he had walked around my vehicle several times LOOKING for something wrong with my car. Mind you, I had a brand new 40" TV, I got on clearance (no box), in the front seat because it wouldn't fit in the back and I had to let the passenger seat down to fit it in the car. He never asked where I was coming from, where I was going, or even if he could search the car. (Which I would have said no, because I didn't trust him and he looked like the type that would plant drugs or a gun to frame me.)

With no warrants or even prior arrests, he wanted me to pay some outrageous amount for bond or stay in jail til trial. He left me sitting alone for a long period of time so I started drawing on a napkin. A Captain came by and saw the drawing and asked me about it. We got to talking and he told me I could request an I-Bond, where since I had no priors they would release me for free the same day. When the cop got back I wiped that smug smile off his face when I demanded an I-Bond.

Long story short. It seems that this cop had been arresting people for minor violations left and right, even UNDERCOVER POLICEMEN who had identified themselves to him and were ON DUTY at the time. The judge was so upset at the cop that he was throwing out cases left and right, including mine.

So if a cop stops you and you havent done anything, just say no to the search and request an I-Bond if they take you in.


So what did you draw on your napkin?

Technologist said:   Am I the only one that is wondering WHAT you were drawing and why it SEEMS so pertinent to the story?

Lemme guess, it was either just a doodle of the letters "ACLU", or it was a very good likeness of the arresting officer, with either swine-like features, or lots of bruises and bloody wounds. Or just tons of "Dollar Signs", like the Riddler's "Question Mark" suit??????????????????????

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


Darnit, you beat me to the punch.

Love8008s said:   I thought the SCOTUS ruled (last year? two years ago?) that cops could search your car for whatever reason? I'm afraid just refusing a search will cause the cop to pull me out of the driver's side window and arrest me for "resisting".

You are apparently confusing the United States with Nazi Germany.

ppatin said:   watchtower77 said:   Apparently not many of the posters have been arrested or stopped and searched before.
If the police want to search your car, they will.
The only difference in withholding consent is that you might beat the case in court, but your car will still be searched and you will still be going to jail (initially) if they find your booty, ill-gotten or legit.


Maybe in redneckville, but in some states the Bill of Rights actually carries some weight. I have my complaints about the judiciary in Maryland, but at least I can be confident that judges in this state won't hesitate to tear into a police officer who conducts an illegal search.

May be true, but you still will go jail etc. That was my point, nothing else.

suuave said:   We got to talking and he told me I could request an I-Bond, where since I had no priors they would release me for free the same day. When the cop got back I wiped that smug smile off his face when I demanded an I-Bond.

So if a cop stops you and you havent done anything, just say no to the search and request an I-Bond if they take you in.


Did you get the iBond from the Apple Store?

qcumber98 said:   suuave said:   We got to talking and he told me I could request an I-Bond, where since I had no priors they would release me for free the same day. When the cop got back I wiped that smug smile off his face when I demanded an I-Bond.

So if a cop stops you and you havent done anything, just say no to the search and request an I-Bond if they take you in.


Did you get the iBond from the Apple Store?

No, from treasurydirect.gov

HumDoHamaraDo said:   qcumber98 said:   suuave said:   We got to talking and he told me I could request an I-Bond, where since I had no priors they would release me for free the same day. When the cop got back I wiped that smug smile off his face when I demanded an I-Bond.

So if a cop stops you and you havent done anything, just say no to the search and request an I-Bond if they take you in.


Did you get the iBond from the Apple Store?

No, from treasurydirect.gov
Is it a paper iBond?

Skipping 160 Messages...
riznick said:   Happened to someone I know recently. I believe that they can even use your refusal to answer questions against you if you haven't invoked your right to remain silent.

That's why you invoke the Fizzifth.

NikeFace said:   
I start screaming "this is an illegal search. You had reason to search as my glovie and trunk were locked. Illegal!" I wasn't really sure if I was right. I just kept screaming "illegal."  The cop came back, uncuffed me, dropped the bag in the storm drain, threw my license in my car, and simply left w/o a word. I'm free!


I know someone who got stopped by CBP, but not at a border. Apparently CBP has jurisdiction a certain number of miles from the border, which includes 75% of the US population because it includes water borders, and this happened quite a bit in from the border at a CBP checkpoint. They had never left the country.

He was stupid, and his passengers were stupid (they were all upper class white and not used to dealing with the popo, federal or otherwise), so through a variety of circumstances that never should have happened if they were smart, the drug dog ended up sitting inside their car and pointing to their weed. The CBP officer let them throw the weed in a dumpster or other irretrievable place and let them go on their way. I wonder if that would have happened if they had darker skin, although at least most immigrants and their kids have dealt with CBP (or its predecessors) off the Boeing and probably wouldn't have been dumb enough to end up in this scenario.



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