Customs and Money Seizure Lawyers .pdf
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Representing Individuals Nationwide
U.S. Customs and Money Seizure
Many American citizens traveling abroad are unaware of the requirement to report the
transportation of U.S. or foreign currency. In fact, U.S. law requires that any currency or
other monetary equivalents that exceed a $10,000.00 threshold must be reported directly to
U.S. Customs and Border Security prior to entering or leaving the country. The
consequences for violating the law can be severe, and may include the seizure of the assets
as well as other penalties. In a global environment of escalating crime and the threat of
terrorism, U.S. Customs agents are particularly sensitive to large, unreported sums of cash
entering or leaving the country.
Can I Get My Money Back?
Our attorneys are regularly able to recover the monies you had seized. Offering nationwide
legal assistance, we will prepare the administrative petitions and negotiate with the U.S.
Customs and Border Patrol to see that you are returned your seized cash. Our firm is so
confident that we will succeed we offer a No Fee Guarantee*. Thus, you will not owe our
firm an attorney fee if we cannot recover your money. If your Petition has already been
denied, and your circumstances warrant it, we can even appeal your case to federal court.
Our Goal is to Get You Your Money Back.
Time is of the essence, Call Now!
If your cash or property was seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and you fail
to act in a timely manner, then you will automatically lose. Time is of the essence, and in
most cases you must file a petition within 30 days of the seizure notice. Nationwide call our
Attorneys at 877-406-6906 for a free consultation.
Postal Inspection Service
Did you know that the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) can seize packages in
much the same manner as United States Customs and
Border Patrol (USCBP)? Just as USCBP can seize any
illicit property at an airport or border crossing, USPIS
can seize illicit property that goes through the U.S.
The United States Postal Inspection Service is an old
but little known branch of United States law
enforcement. Just like any other law enforcement
agency, USPIS can serve and execute warrants, make
arrests, and more. With a warrant, USPIS can open
and inspect first class mail.Time is usually of the essence with postal investigations, so warrants
are often obtained and issued quickly. To get a warrant, the officer need only convince a judge
or magistrate that there is probable cause the letter or package is involved with a crime. In
general, probable cause roughly amounts to reasonable likelihood – for example, a simple alert
by a drug dog often satisfies this requirement. Such an alert would thus give USPIS authority to
search that package, resulting in at least a delay in mailing if not an outright seizure or arrest.
Moreover, USPIS can inspect other classes of mail without a warrant, since they are not
considered private correspondence. USPIS inspects mail to search for mail fraud, weapons,
weapons, harmful or terrorism-related materials, and narcotics.
If USPIS finds that a package or letter has been mailed in violation of a certain federal law—like
anti-terrorism statutes, fraud laws, or narcotics regulations—the suspect piece of mail will be
seized. In 2012 alone, USPIS seized assets valued at $54.6 million dollars. Such seizure is
authorized by federal law and occurs via the same lengthyand complicated process as that
which governs seizures by USCBP.
So why does this all matter to an average, law-abiding citizen? The United States Postal
Servicereceives massive volumes of mail daily, and monitoring that much material presents an
often daunting task. One way of taking on this massive monitoring project is through
generalized, or dragnet tactics, such as employing drug dogs. While this tactic is effective in this
context, it can also be over-inclusive – for example, almost all U.S. currency contains trace
amounts of narcotics. These trace amounts are often enough to alert drug dogs, giving USPIS
grounds to seize your cash as drug money. Thus, postal inspections can often cause problems
for people trying to mail cash. Mailing cash is entirely legal, and there are no reporting
requirements to domestically send money. But if any drug dog picks up scents of narcotics on
that money, it may be a long road to getting that money back.
According to the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, most mail that is seized by USPIS for an
alleged narcotics law violation is sent from places like Southern California, Puerto Rico, and
towns on the U.S./Mexico border. This mail is most often sent to places like Richmond, Detroit,
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and New York.If you’re sending or receiving mail in any one of these
areas, it is likely to be more heavily monitored by USPIS, and you may be at a higher risk for
such a seizure.
Garmo & Kiste, PLC
50 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 240
Troy, Michigan 48084
Fax: (248) 436-6829
100 Andover Park W, Suite 150
Tukwila, Washington 98188
Telephone: (877) 406-6906
Fax: (248) 436-6829