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Foto de edificio en el fondo para el abogado de ley criminal Ricardo P. Hermida en Miami, Coral Gables, condado de Miami-Dade, Florida.

"Problems in Customs"

It is common that a person traveling to the United States is not informed or aware of the laws that dictate that items, jewelry, or amounts of money have to be declared upon entering the country.


On occasions where you did not remember, was wrong, or simply did not want to inform the United States customs agency, it may be that your personal items are seized at the airport upon entering the country.

When customs agents seize your personal items, they will give you information about what they seized and why. Also, they will send you a letter in the mail detailing steps you can take to retake your property. This administrative process with the government requires appealing the forfeiture, demonstrating that you are the owner of that property, and requires participating in an administrative process.

In these cases, you do have options to recover your property, but you must act quickly to ensure that you do not lose your right to your property.

Apart from customs cases, there are laws at the Federal level (according to US law code 21 USC § 853) and state that authorize the confiscation of money, property, cars, airplanes, and ships - which were obtained through illegal activities, (or used in illegal activities). Moreover, in some cases, the U.S. government may even forfeit property abroad, according to U.S. law code 18 U.S.C. § 981 (b) (3).

Moreover, consider the following:

"Civil Confiscation"

You are driving in your vehicle with your family, when suddenly a police officer asks you to stop. You stop the car, the policeman approaches your window and asks for your license, your car documents, and asks: "How much cash do you carry in the vehicle?" Although neither jury nor judge has found you guilty of any crime, from that moment it may be that the police officer keeps the cash you had in your wallet. When you claim to know what legal reason the police have to take possession of your money, the police officer answers that you are using your power under the permission of "civil confiscation."

Although this situation seems quite strange, the police actions had been legal because of a controversial interpretation of a Federal norm initiated in 1984 with the original purpose of combating drug trafficking and other fraud products. Cash, telephones, computers and even real estate can be left to the police, in some cases without even a support order from a court.

According to an investigation by The Washington Post, since September 2001, police officers in the US they have seized more than US $ 2.5 billion in 62,000 proceedings without accusing anyone of committing any crime. Of those $ 2.5 billion seized, local and state authorities were left with $ 1.7 billion and federal agencies

exceeded $ 800 million.

States (and even counties) may have specific laws for civil confiscation, but they can also use the federal standard to justify a forfeiture.

Therefore, it is extremely important to hire a criminal lawyer with experience in forfeitures as soon as possible after the confiscation of your property. Through our immediate intervention, it is possible to recover your assets or your money or your car as soon as possible.

For over 30 years, I have maintained excellent relationships with the United States Attorney’s Office and the state attorney’s offices in Florida. I personally attend to my clients and dedicate the time and attention that their case deserves. Our fees are reasonable and we offer financing.


For a lawyer who specializes in seizures in Miami, Call Ricardo P. Hermida today at 

305-461-1066 (24 hours) for a confidential consultation.

Foto de maleta con dinero para el abogado penalista Ricardo P. Hermida en Miami, Coral Gables, condado de Miami-Dade, Florida.
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