Civil Asset Forfeiture – Policing for Profit

On the way home one night you get pulled over by the police.  As far as you know you haven’t done anything wrong and the cop Top Survival Blogsseems civil enough.  He pulled you over because he saw your car swerve and wanted to make sure you weren’t driving drunk.  You prove you haven’t been drinking and just as you think you’re good to go he asks, “Mind if I inspect your car?”  You’re a little taken aback.  You have nothing to hide, but conversely you haven’t done anything wrong either.  You’re pretty sure you didn’t swerve, but hey, whatever.  You tell him you do mind as you’re in a hurry.

By Jarhead Survivor, a contributing author SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Wrong Answer

Wrong answer.  He now tells you he suspects you of drug dealing and has you sit there while a K9 unit is called.  The dog alerts next to your front quarter panel and pretty soon the cops have confiscated your car and the $1000 in cash you had with you to buy the supplies for your business. Their reasoning?  This is obviously drug money because who rides around in a vehicle these days with that much money on them?

Your crime?  Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The chances of you getting your money back are slim and here’s the best survival blogreal kick in the nuts – they don’t even have to accuse you of a crime; just have a suspicion that the money was going to be used in a crime.  In order to get your money back you’ll need to get a lawyer and fight for it, which can sometimes cost more than the money taken in the first place.  You’re screwed.  Welcome to Civil Asset Forfeiture.  One of the weapons against the war on drugs run amok. What – exactly – is Civil Asset Forfeiture?

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that allows law enforcement officials to seize property that they assert has been involved in certain criminal activity. In fact, the owner of the property doesn’t even need to be guilty of a crime: Civil asset forfeiture proceedings charge the property itself with involvement in a crime. This means that police can seize your car, home, money, or valuables without ever having to charge you with a crime. There are many, many stories of innocent people being stripped of their money and property by law enforcement.


CNN Video:  Civil Asset Forfeiture

This is one of those crazy laws used by police to inflate their coffers.  Not only can they take your cash they can confiscate your vehicle or anything  they suspect has been used in a crime.  You might get to walk away, but your guilty money is confiscated and put to good use by the police force.  Crazy eh?  Some departments even have a wish list when deciding which of your goodies they want.  And where do they learn how to do this?  Places like Desert Snow charge considerable sums of money to train officers how to take your money and other valuables out on our nations highways.

Good Intentions Gone Bad

The original intention of this law was to stop drugs from being transported across the country’s highways and to put a hurting on the drug dealers by taking their money.  To be fair the police have found large amounts of drugs and drug money and taken it off the road; however, when an innocent man or woman is basically robbed by the people who are supposedly out there to protect us I have a problem.  You should have a problem with that too.

Basically what has happened in these cases is that police officers misidentify someone who isn’t a drug runner or someone committing a crime as someone who is.  Whether it was because the people stopped were acting nervous or otherwise signaling (in the officer’s eyes) that something else was going on, or simply because the cop sees the money and wants it and then comes up with justification to take it.  It’s immaterial to the person who got stopped.  The end result is the same:  their money is confiscated and chances of getting it back are pretty slim.

Check out this video from The Washington Post.  It’s a real eye opener!

Highway Robbery

In 2011 Civil Asset Forfeiture brought in over 250 million dollars after a steady incline of funds seized from the 1980’s.  That’s Top Survival Blog250 million in one year – not in total.  Some cops boast that they have taken in millions – and good luck getting your money back even if you’re innocent.

It’s all good when it’s just bad guy’s getting their money, cars, houses, etc. confiscated, but when innocent people start getting caught up in the dragnet it’s too bad for them.  Gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet right?  It only sucks when you’re one of the eggs.  The next time you’re going to make a road trip another question you’ll have to ask yourself is, “Is it worth it carrying a large amount of cash with me?”

The answer to this question used to be determined by the chances of getting robbed by a bad guy, but now the odds have gone up because if you get pulled over by one of the “good guys” and you act a little nervous or they smell money, chances are good you’ll lose it then too.


Gone is the freedom to carry cash without fear of it being stolen.  It’s a sad situation we find ourselves in and just another nail inTeotwawki the coffin of rights we’re giving up all in the name of security.  The War on Drugs, 9/11, the NSA spying on us and everybody else in the world, it’s all part of the same journey.

I’ve talked to people who are ok with this.  “Hey, if it means I’ll be safer doing <name activity here>, then I guess it’s ok.”  If you’re happy with that situation then you shouldn’t be reading this blog.  I like to think that the folks who come here are a little more in touch with our pioneer ancestor spirit hen the person happy to trade in their freedom for the perception of safety, because if you think you’re safe having the authorities watch out for you just look at how Civil Asset Forfeiture is helping out the average citizen.  Look at the number of police shootings caught on film lately.  Still feel safe?

Am I calling for a return to the wild west?  Of course not.  Well, maybe.  If it means we take charge of lives then yeah, maybe I am.  What do you think? Are you ok with giving up our rights for the illusion of safety?

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

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24 comments… add one
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. April 10, 2015, 1:46 pm

    There should be a defined set of rules where this procedure only harms the guilty and not the innocent. As in if the innocent can provide proof that the money was gained through lawful means, their money stay with them. And the LEO should provide evidence that the money was earned through PROOF of illegal activity.

    • kevin April 11, 2015, 8:47 am

      you got that right

    • annon April 20, 2015, 9:28 am

      No, You’ve got that Wrong: A Citizen is presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty before a jury of peers . The concept that someone would or should provide proof that their assets were gained through legal means is totally unconstitutional. So they seized this guys property based on what – the bark of a dog at an exposed wheel well? So the dog (or perhaps the larcenist police department) is now the judge and jury of peers? I don’t think so. And as for a larcenist LEO, you know who they are by what they do.

      No Sir, No Sir, No Sir!!!! In the US, we don’t have to prove squat. The government MUST prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

      I’d rather see 100 bad guys get away than one innocent crushed by his government. This whole asset forfeiture thing is unconstitutional because it denies due process and treats the accused as guilty before proven.

      In the US, we have 5% of the worlds’ population, yet we have about 20% of the worlds’ prisoners, and those are the ones still in the system. Are you telling me that our LEOs are that much more efficient than the rest of the industrialized world? More efficient than Germany and Russia? Really? Or are US residents that much more inclined toward criminal behavior ? Really?? At the organization level, LE has become a business whose interests, like those of overreaching big government are in direct conflict with our constitutional rights.

      • Anonymous April 30, 2015, 10:43 pm

        Amen and Amen!

      • Anonymous May 4, 2015, 9:45 am

        This guy knows what freedom looks like! its my property until you prove it isn’t.

    • Larry April 30, 2015, 7:46 pm

      You should not have to prove your innocense. They should have to prove your guilt. This is still America, isn’t it?

  • Steve suffering in NJ April 10, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    Benjamin Franklin

    Good to here from you again Jar Head !!

  • x April 11, 2015, 1:28 am

    This is the price people pay for giving cops more power to steal from others. Now they will steal from you too

  • MARKWW April 11, 2015, 7:38 am

    OK Folks here is what to do. Today your the enemy. LETS SAY YOUR STOPPED as soon as the lights come on you are technically under arrest. Here is what to do.
    1. When the policeman approaches open your drivers window 2 inches do not speak through the crack cause the officer can say he smells something.
    2. Do not give him anything no drivers license or Insurance or any papers. Ask for a warrant cause basically your under arrest and want a supervisor present. The Only Information you have to tell him is your name date of birth and address. ALSO TAPE EVERYTHING cause later you can sue them all in Federal Courts,cause intimidation is not legal its adult verbal abuse.
    3. You ask the officer for his full name and badge number,and say officer 1 2 3 am I under arrest or am I free to Go are you going to harm me my vehicle my body and do anything that could hurt me. HE HAS TO ANSWER if not ask over and over till he answers.
    4. Do not open any windows cause if you do you can make a cross breeze,and other police can say they smell something.
    5. Do not let them search your car or vehicle WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH THE STOP IN THE FIRST PLACE. DO NOT SAY ANYTHING. The police are going to try to get you on drug charges or drop drugs in your vehicle THEY NEED A WARRANT TO SEARCH, it is a illegal search so DO NOT LET THEM.DO NOT talk or open up conversations cause anything you say before the Miranda rights can be used against you in a court of Law.
    6. STAY COOL CALM AND COLLECTED DO NOT GET OUT OF CONTROL you are the one that is asking question to the POLICE NOT THEM.DO U KNOW they have to take you to a magistrate FIRST AND NOT TO JAIL that is the law but they do not do it. HERE IS A 2 HOUR VIDEO THE FIRST HOUR IS THE ACTUAL LAWS AS TO MOTOR VEHICLES ON THE ROADWAYS and how they are written the second hour if you skip ahead is what to do and say if your pulled over the whole 2 something hours is the law, there are three parts to the law when your stopped not just one and the ticket could be totally not legal see web video above.

    • BamaMan April 13, 2015, 6:16 pm

      IDK about this approach. Maybe refuse to allow a search but give them your DL and insurance.

    • 3rdMan April 14, 2015, 9:15 pm

      Bad advice MAEKWW!

      You are giving advice right out of the sovereign citizen play book that will only cause the situation to escalate. Following MAEKWW’s advise will surly find you in front of a judge have to post bond on a minor traffic violation that may have had only resulted in a verbal warning with a little kindness to the officer.

      To the comment by Jarhead

      “He now tells you he suspects you of drug dealing and has you sit there while a K9 unit is called. The dog alerts next to your front quarter panel and pretty soon the cops have confiscated your car and the $1000 in cash you had with you to buy the supplies for your business.”

      This is not correct. Under the law and SCOTUS rulings you must be free to leave to give consent. If you say no than the officer has to release you. “No” in itself is not PC. A K9 alert on a vehicle is PC to search without a warrant. The K9 alert by itself is not enough to seize property. Most state seizure laws place the burden proof on LE to prove the property was used in or is the result of a felony act. If LE can not prove it, than the seized property must be returned. Federal law is the exact opposite though. Under Federal law the burden is upon the individual to prove the property is not the result of felony criminal activity.

      The bottom line is if the officer is asking consent to search than he does not have probable cause to search, he is just fishing at this point. If he has probable cause such as the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle than he will advise you of that and have you exit the vehicle. No warrant is required to search a vehicle with probable cause or where the driver gives voluntary consent. If it is a consent search the driver must be placed where they can withdrawal consent at anytime. So in closing if an officer asks for consent you have the right to say no without any further action on the part of the officer other than them saying “have nice day and be safe”.

  • MARKWW April 11, 2015, 7:41 am

    what to do if your stopped by police from my write up

  • Roger April 11, 2015, 4:12 pm

    ‘Fight crime, abolish the IRS’! The government is the biggest thief in the world, in fact, here in Colorado, they are also the biggest drug dealer as well!!! The ‘laws’ are made by the rich, for the rich, at the expense of the rest of us! You ARE guilty until you can prove yourself innocent, assuming you have the money to do so. We did not give the power to the police or the government, they took it, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll mind your P’s and Q’s and not make waves lest you be drowned in the sea of ‘legality’! It’s about ‘people control’, the government is not here to serve you, you are their slave! Keep your head down, eat those weeds pretending they’re lush grass OR become a real patriot and be ready to sacrifice (even your life) to defend what you believe in even if it’s not legal; and what isn’t illegal these days! By the way, MARKWW, much of what you wrote is good advice, but if a Cop decides to harass you for any (or no real) reason, he/she will make something up. In Colorado, when you sign the driver’s license, you are agreeing to allow a search of your vehicle anytime you’re in it, running or not, otherwise, no license, no drive, and for most of us, no job, no money, no place to live! But don’t worry, you won’t be homeless because ‘officially’ you are now a ‘long-term camper’, don’t forget to buy that ‘wildlife habitat stamp’ so you can occupy ‘public land’ and don’t forget to move a minimum of 60 miles away every two weeks or you’ll be in violation of someone’s ordinances, and off to jail you go! Good Luck! (and keep you ammo dry and your weapons handy!)

  • Pineslayer April 11, 2015, 10:56 pm

    The root cause of this problem is our country’s failed War on Drugs. No matter how you feel about drugs and other vices, when you try and control people’s lives, you make criminals out of them. That leads to controlling and turning them into slaves with Walmart privileges. Fear and poverty are great ways to control and intimidate.

    Wait until they control the internet, control the food, control the cash in your pocket,…oops, too late?

  • kevin April 12, 2015, 4:03 pm

    so what if anything can be done to stop this from happening

    • BamaMan April 13, 2015, 6:20 pm

      If a cop wants to be corrupt then corruption will happen. Obviously if you present yourself well and answer the question about the “1,000 bucks in glove box” then you probably have a good chance of nothing happening.

      Most of these issues are people being dicks and acting stupid at the wrong place / wrong time. It is like these “innocent people” getting shot by the cops. They are not walking out of the grocery store at 6 pm but out of a bar or party at 1 am.

      If a cop seizes your assets of any kind I would go more with the educated responses of “well my attorney…”…and be educated b/c the poor and unededcuated usually get the treatment.

    • Pineslayer April 14, 2015, 12:53 am

      kevin that is the 64K question. Don’t drive on public roads, break no BS laws, don’t carry cash, don’t carry a gun…in other words, be a sheep.

  • NoSox April 14, 2015, 5:29 pm

    Yeah that’s crazy. I’m very particular of how i carry myself when im stopped and because of the truck i usually get alot of attention. I drop all my windows so they can fully see inside [when they first walk up] and give them my license and registration. Other than that i’m not consenting to any search. If they wanna play dirty they will and we just have to be ready for it and stay cool and say key words & phrases like ‘lawyer’ and ‘What’s your name officer’. My dashcam would help with that as well.

  • sherah kitty April 30, 2015, 9:30 am

    Hey it’s the air force’s money and they can steal it back in any manner they deem fit! Just shut up or be torchered some more!

  • concerned American April 30, 2015, 9:00 pm

    Banks don’t let you take your money out either ($300 in one day at my bank) so they can prevent you from having cash and to prevent you from having all of your money safe from grabbing. Used to be able to take out whatever you wanted. That is until 8 months ago. It almost got. Me arrested in europe whan I couldn’t get. Mony from a cash machine to pay cab fare. With the conversation rate at the time they only allowed 230 euros because the was 300 US.
    Te hotel fronted me. The money because I’m a good customer. That is not always the case.
    Scary to say the least. Odipcrap and his plans.

  • William May 2, 2015, 6:37 am

    I thought they just over turned this.

  • Joecardio May 3, 2015, 6:56 pm

    I don’t want to presume anyone’s guilt, but how is it when I run into a LEO, Detective or other “Policing”officer, in my travels, many are wearing very high end watches, even gold watches?? Rolexes and better. On a police officer’s salary? Come on now, how come so many of us that have jobs and careers and trades that make more than a Police Officer, can’t afford that type of watch, yet a police officer can? Are they somehow all wealth managers whose assets and investments are all reaping double digit returns in these markets? I don’t think so. But thats only my opinion.

  • mike August 22, 2015, 10:51 pm

    If you follow MARKWW your going to jail. Can we all say obstruction…. This is a law that basically states that anything you do that prevents an officer from doing his job is, can we all say it. Obstruction of law enforcement. And can be arrested for it.

  • Don Hagen August 16, 2016, 5:17 pm

    There are a few laws that state you do not haft to tell them nothing. As far as this Obstruction thing i have slammed the door in there faces, they new not to kick my door open.


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