When you are arrested on a drug charge, the penalties you could face can often be severe. Depending on the type of drug crime you are charged with, you could face many years of jail time and even a stiff fine. What you may not know, however, is that the state of Wisconsin has civil asset forfeiture laws that could lead to problems for even the members of your family who were not involved in your crime.
Although laws vary from state to state, the basic premise of the civil asset forfeiture law is that if law enforcement officials can show a connection between a piece of property, such as a car, house, or even cash, to an illegal activity that has been committed, they can then seize the property as if the property is guilty of the crime. Unfortunately, the owner of the property doesn't actually have to be convicted or even charged with a crime for this to happen.
As an example, a family member could bring bail money for you to the police station after your arrest. If the police believe that the money is the result of a drug sell, they could then seize the money that your family member has collected to bail you out. Your family member would then have to appear in court to show evidence that the money was collected in a legitimate and legal way and not party to an illegal activity.
If you or a loved one face drug charges, our website can provide additional information about how state and federal drug laws work.