There is a law in Minnesota that all adult residents of the state should be aware of and might be surprised to learn. It has to do with being suspected of a crime. Notice that the previous statement did not say charged with or convicted of a crime. In this state, if a person is suspected of DWI or other criminal activity, under certain circumstances, police can seize his or her assets, including cash.
Last year, Minnesota police seized approximately $11 million in cash and other assets from people suspected of crimes but not necessarily facing charges or incurring convictions. Police and prosecutors involved in a particular case are allowed to split the assets between their departments. A civil rights advocate who opposes the practice stated that at least 80% of people whose assets are seized do not take steps to get their property back.
Minnesota is not the only state with asset forfeiture
Other states have laws enabling asset forfeiture against people suspected of crimes. In addition to cash, vehicles are the most common asset seized under these laws. A person who has been arrested for DWI will want to learn more about asset forfeiture, in case his or her property is at risk.
What else can happen to seized assets?
When police or prosecutors seize assets from someone suspected of a crime, they do not have to keep the assets. They can also choose to destroy them or sell them. Many people believe asset forfeiture is unfair. If a person is suspected of DWI or other criminal activity and is worried about having assets seized, it is a good idea to schedule a meeting with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the issue.