Ohio Property Seizure Laws: What You Need to Know if Arrested

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Imagine sitting in your home one evening when out of nowhere, without any warning, police officers come barreling through your doors. Now imagine being thrown to the ground and held down as those same law enforcement officers rummage through your home without any regard for your property. What’s more, imagine that these same officers accuse you of something that you haven’t done and then leave with several of your possessions that are worth thousands of dollars but never actually charge you with a crime. Sound impossible? Unfortunately, that’s the kind of scenario that has played out for several people in Ohio.

Below, we explore several takeaways about arrests made under Ohio’s property seizure laws. If you were arrested for a crime in a similar situation, call an experienced attorney at the soonest opportunity. We can provide advice specific to your circumstances at a consultation. 

The Impacts of Ohio’s Property Seizure Laws

According to a report in the Dayton Daily News, asset forfeiture laws allowed state and local authorities to seize at least $1.2 million in property over the past five years from Dayton residents. Many times, these citizens lost their property even though they were never even charged with a crime. These property seizures are allowed under the state’s property seizure laws, which make it legal for law enforcement officers to seize assets from anyone they suspect has committed a crime, even though there might not even be enough evidence to charge them.

Even if authorities do not charge a person, he or she still has to prove that the seized possessions were not acquired with money they obtained from illegal activity. Additionally, they must sue authorities to get their property back. Now legislators throughout the country are calling for change. According to one national study, Ohio was ranked as one of the worst offenders in abusing these laws. Authorities use the possessions for their own gain, as they sell them in auctions and then use the proceeds to purchase new equipment and pay for other expenses.

What to Do If You Were Arrested During a Property Seizure in Ohio

While these types of asset seizures and raids seem entirely unfair and ripe with potential abuse opportunities, they will continue to happen unless lawmakers enact changes. However, if you have been the victim of one of these unfair raids, especially if you have not been charged with a crime, then you might want to pursue a lawsuit to get your possessions back. Even if you have been charged with a crime, that does not mean you are guilty, and it does not mean that authorities followed proper procedures when they invaded your home.

An arrest can come with hefty fines and even jail time, so your first step should be to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. We can help you explore possible resolutions.  

An Attorney Can Advocate For Your Rights

If you have been the target of one of these raids, then you should contact The VanNoy Firm. We will help you determine whether or not you should pursue a lawsuit to get your possessions back, and we can also help you fight any criminal charges you might be facing. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 



About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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