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I got a notice of seizure letter from the DEA for 8,000 . can i get the money back?

Milwaukee, WI |

the letter is asking if i request remission or mitigation of forfeiture. or to contest the forfeiture. i just want to know is it possible to get the money back. do i need a lawyer or can i just write a letter, petitioning my interest in the property.

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Attorney answers 3


You need a lawyer if you want any reasonable chance of getting your money back. You should also speak with a criminal defense lawyer, because if the DEA is seizing your $, then they think it and therefore you are associated with criminal activity.


Once you receive a Notice of Seizure, you will be given a choice of either requesting remission (pardon) or mitigation of the forfeiture, or contesting the forfeiture. To request the remission or mitigation, you are required to file a petition with the Forfeiture Counsel of the DEA by the indicated due date, usually within 30 days of receipt of the notice, and you will need to provide the proof indicated. If you contest the forfeiture, you will need to file a claim with the Forfeiture Counsel of the DEA by the indicated due date, and you will need to follow the instructions and provide the information requested. Depending upon why the seizure occurred, probably dictates whether to involve an attorney or not, so it would probably be best to consult a criminal defense attorney regarding this. If the seizure was done by accident and not used or acquired as a result of any violation of a State or Federal law, statute, section or act, you will generally have a better chance of having the money returned. Your claim or petition will generally be referred to the United States Attorney for the Civil Division in the Judicial District noted on the Notice of Seizure, and they will then decide whether to pursue the forfeiture or not. If they decide not to pursue the forfeiture, then you will receive some additional documents to complete and return, which will allow for the money to be returned by an Automated Clearing House (ACH) electronic transfer. Because the seizure usually occurs due to a belief that the money was obtained illegally or being used illegally, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts of how and why the seizure occurred.

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You are in a dangerous position. The government, specifically the DEA, thinks that 8000 dollars is drug money. By petitioning to get the money back, you are telling the DEA, "that drug money is mine."

You should have a lawyer assist you.

My answer to your question is based on the facts that you provide in your question. Additional factual details about your situation could change my answer completely. The law in inherently uncertain and always subject to change.