You may be aware that cops can simply steal – yes, that’s exactly the correct word – cash found on your person or in your vehicle, in the course of a traffic stop, say – solely on account of it being an “excessive” amount.
“Excessive” being entirely up to them to define.
It could be $10,000 – or $1,000. There is no specific amount of cash defined by statute that crosses a legal threshold. Thus, one cannot know ahead of time not to carry, say, $5,000 – but $500 is ok.
It is enough that a government worker with a gun considers whatever cash you are found to have in your possession “excessive.”
And these armed government workers can legally steal it from you on the basis of the cash being the presumptive – but not proved – fruits of some illegal activity, usually imputed to be the selling or buying of arbitrarily illegal drugs.
This bears repeating – it need not be proved in a court of law that the money found was obtained illegally.
It is not even necessary to formally charge a person to legally steal their money – provided the thief is an armed government worker stealing it on behalf of the government.
Interestingly, these armed government workers prefer to be called law enforcement, even when they aren’t enforcing any known laws and are in fact abusing the law – it being legal to possess cash and transport cash. This of course matters not at all when armed government workers decide they want your cash. Then, they just take it.
That is, steal it.
How else to describe it?
And you are powerless – legally – to do a thingabout it.
Perhaps, later – at your expense, both of time and money – you will be able to prove your innocence of drug trafficking to the satisfaction of a judge and he may return your money. But it is no longer necessary for a court to establish your guilt.
This is not new – or news.
Here is something that’s both:
It has been proposed that if an armed government worker finds a “hidden compartment” in your vehicle, you be sent to prison for two years and your vehicle forfeit to the state. Nothing illegal need be in the hidden compartment. It is sufficient merely that it exists.
“Presumptive” evidence that you are trying to hide something.
Like an “excessive” amount of cash, say?
The irony is sickening.
On the one hand, the state has de facto (but not de jure) criminalized the physical possession of “excessive” amounts of cash. This fact makes it risky as hell to – as a for-instance – go to look at a used car with an “excessive” amount of cash on your person – even though used car shopping with cash (a reasonable thing to do; the sight of cash on the barrelhead often helping to facilitate a good deal on the vehicle) is still perfectly legal.
So, you install a hidden compartment to hide the cash from the armed government workers. Now you are to be sent to prison for that – even if no legal cash is found and no trace of arbitrarily illegal drugs is found.
The cubby itself is now criminal!