Chicago Attorneys Specializing in Asset Seizure

Were you flying domestic or international on a one-way ticket? Do you have a criminal record? 18-40 years of age? Did the DEA, FBI or Cops take your Money or Property? You we’re more than likely a victim of a Midway or O’Hare Airport money seizure. You’re accused of a crime, and now have to worry about your future. The attorneys at Edward Johnson & Associates P.C. are experts in civil and asset forfeiture and can help get your seized cash back!

Need Your Seized Money Back?

Call or Text 708.606.4386 to Speak with Chicago’s Best Money Seizure Attorneys Today!

What is the difference between Asset Seizure and Asset Forfeiture?

ASSET SEIZURE: The term Asset Seizure refers to the act of taking your property. When the Government takes possession of your property, it is “seizing” your property.

ASSET FORFEITURE: While Asset Seizure addresses physical possession of your property, Asset Forfeiture addresses ownership. Forfeiture is the legal process used by the Government to take ownership of property it has seized. Property is “forfeited” when the legal process is complete and official, legal title transfers to the Government.

Remember, it is one thing to take possession of an object, it is another to own it.

Chicago O’Hare Money Seizure and the Law

Law enforcement monitors commercial air travel at every major airport in the country, including Chicago O’Hare. Many cases are initiated when a passenger is identified as possible narcotics or currency courier. In other cases, TSA screeners discover large sums of bulk cash in passenger luggage and report it to law enforcement, who then locates the passenger.

Getting red flagged appears to begin with one-way ticket passengers, especially men 18-40 years old. On any given flight, there maybe only a small number of such passengers. Sometimes law enforcement will run a criminal history to see if the passenger has any warrants or a criminal record for drug offenses.

Armed with this information, DEA agents will head to the gate and try to make contact with the targeted passenger.

Need Your Seized Money Back?

Call or Text 708.606.4386 to Speak with Chicago’s Best Asset Seizure Attorneys Today!

Don’t let these out of state lawyers fool you! Get real Chicago lawyers to fight to get your money back or it’s free!

Civil Forfeiture and Chicago O’Hare Airport Money Seizure

Chicago O’Hare Airport money seizure is very common, mostly because ORD is the busiest airport in the world and processes an enormous volume of passengers. It is also one of the main hubs for domestic and international air travel.

Is it Legal to Take My Money?

The answer depends on the circumstances.

Asset “seizure” occurs when the Government (or its agents) take possession of your property.

Asset “forfeiture” occurs when the Government uses legal process to take ownership of the property.

While seizure is maddening, frustrating, and confusing, forfeiture of your property is where the real battle lies.

Pursuant to the Civil Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA 2000), the U.S. Government has authority to seize and forfeit property that falls within either of two categories:

  • Property used (or intended to be used) to commit crime.
  • Property acquired from the proceeds of crime.

Originally, CAFRA was intended to combat the drug trade, organized crime, bookmaking, terrorism, and other crime. Where traditional law enforcement targets people and contraband, civil asset forfeiture targets property, such as money, and the tools used to commit crime, such as boats, aircraft, and real estate.

To determine if seizure or forfeiture is legal in your case, we must analyze the available evidence and determine if the Government can meet its burden.

Cash Seizures by DEA Airport Groups Across the USA

Source: USA Today

Need Your Seized Money Back?

Call or Text 708.606.4386 to Speak with Chicago’s Best Money Seizure Attorneys Today!

Don’t let these out of state lawyers fool you! Get real Chicago lawyers to fight to get your money back or it’s free!

How Do I Get My Money Back?

A successful Civil Forfeiture Defense Attorney begins each case with a solid case investigation. Determining the facts and preserving exculpatory evidence, such as bank records that show proof of legitimate source, is key.

Next, it is necessary to evaluate the case for legal issues. Civil asset forfeiture cases vary greatly, even though they are fundamentally the same. Depending on the circumstances, your case may present any of the following possible defenses:

  • Excessive Fines Defense
  • Illegal Search and Seizure
  • Inadmissible or Unreliable K9 Evidence
  • Innocent Owner Defense
  • Jurisdictional Defenses
  • Legitimate Source Defense
  • Legitimate Use/Intended Use Defense
  • Notice Requirement Defense
  • Procedural Defenses
  • Statute of Limitations Violation
  • Unlawful Interrogation

Important Questions:

Tell us what happened between you and the DEA at Chicago O’Hare. What did they say to you? What did you say to them? Did you consent to being searched? Did they use a K9? Were you traveling alone or with another person? When did you buy your ticket? Was it one-way? Were you traveling to or from a cannabis legal state? How did you earn this money? Why were you traveling with it?

Need Your Seized Money Back?

Call or Text 708.606.4386 to Speak with Chicago’s Best Money Seizure Attorneys Today!

Don’t let these out of state lawyers fool you! Get real Chicago lawyers to fight to get your money back or it’s free!

Making a Claim with DEA for a Chicago O’Hare Airport Money Seizure

successful claim has three components. First, it must be timely. Federal law has very strict time limits for making a claim. Second, a claim must be made in the proper format, sworn to, and delivered to the proper Government office. Third, a claim must identify the issues in your case that undermine the Government’s effort to keep your money.

This third element is where a talented Civil Forfeiture Defense Attorney and investigation team makes all the difference.

Administrative Forfeiture

For asset seizures under $500,000, the claim process begins with “Administrative Forfeiture”, which is handled in-house at the offices of the seizing agency.

In the case of Chicago O’Hare Airport money seizure, the agency is almost always the DEA. The process is triggered by the seizure of your money.

Once the DEA seizes your money, it has 60 days to send you formal “Notice of Seizure” to advise you of their intention to forfeit the money and your right to file a claim or make a case for mitigation. If the 60 days passes without a notice being sent, the DEA has to return the money unless they obtain an extension of time.

However, if a notice is sent within the 60 days, you will have 35 days from the date the notice is mailed to have your claim delivered to DEA. The law says the DEA has to give you at least 35 days. If they wanted to, the DEA could give you longer, but they typically do not.

Do not miss the deadline! It could result in a waiver of your rights.

Judicial Forfeiture

Unlike Administrative Forfeiture that takes place in agency offices, Judicial Forfeiture takes place in court. Once you file a timely claim, the Government has 60 days to file a civil forfeiture action in court. The case is then transferred from the seizing agency to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the district where the money was seized.

Bulk cash seizures at Chicago O’Hare airport are filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, a court Brian Silber is a member of.

Once a civil asset forfeiture lawsuit is filed in federal court, the parties begin to exchange information about the case using the rules of discovery. Once each side has a handle on the facts and evidence, an earnest settlement negotiation is had.

If settlement is reached, the case ends. If there is no settlement, it proceeds to trial. If a claimant in a civil asset forfeiture case substantially prevails against the Government, he/she is entitled to recover attorneys fees, costs, and interest.

Why Did the DEA Take My Money?

Civil forfeiture has been a very effective tool for combating crime. There is no doubt that narcotics traffickers, organized crime, and others feel its brunt. However, the problem with civil forfeiture is that it frequently casts  too broad of a net. Far too much property is seized by law enforcement from people that are simply not guilty of any crime.

Contact us to get a free consultation

Chicago’s Best criminal lawyers, providing the most complete criminal defense at low cost. Specializing in Criminal Defense cases involving DUI, Drug, Weapons, Murder, Civil Forfeiture, Orders of Protection and more!

Edward Johnson and Associates P.C.
555 W Jackson Blvd.
Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60661

Email: info@edwardjohnsonlaw.com
Phone: 708-606-4386

We proudly serve all of Illinois including the following cities and counties: Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Will County, Lake County, McHenry County and southern Illinois districts.