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Ask David C. Garner Your Own Question
David C. Garner
David C. Garner, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1043
Experience:  JD with Distinction, Admitted to practice in California
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DEA has been seizing cash money from customers in airports,

Customer Question

DEA has been seizing cash money from customers in airports, all online researches seems to point at very thin line of illegal techniques to obtain your property, then leaving it up to a civil matter to get it back. what rights if any do me as a human have , if not being arrested or in a active investigation besides just randomly being racial profile or some other illegal method to assume that it may be drug money, how far can i not allow them to get possession of my money which is not illegal
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

Your question is more philosophical than legal, in that tot he extent a person complies with the law, they should be fine. Technically any amount can be taken out of the U.S., but you have to comply with the regulations. In particular, you have to fill out a Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments" FinCen form 105 (former CF 4790). Here is a link to the customs site: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/195/~/currency-and-monetary-instruments---amount-that-can-be-brought-into-or-leave

As long as you do that, you should be fine.

I hope t his helps.

DCG

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My question is not for out the country, it was about carrying cash within the United States and what can I do to keep it in my possession if I'm harassed, I do kno once the DEA have it in their possession it becomes a civil case with you being without your money until you go through legal proceeding to validate legitamicy of the money . Since it's not illegal what type of stance can I take to make them physically take it from me! I kno they are tricking you out the possesion of your money to seize it.
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

Well, probably the best advice would be to not travel with large amounts of currency. Within the U.S. there is no need and it raises suspicion. That said, travel authorities (TSA at airports) may be curious why you're carrying lots of cash and may ask you about it, but they will not (and, legally, can not) seize it unless they have probable cause to believe that you have committed or are about to commit a crime and that said cash is reasonably likely to be evidence of said crime. They are not going o try and trick you. At an airport I would alert the TSA and asked to be screened in private. Elsewhere it would depend on the circumstances. I know that's vague, but there nothing illegal about carrying money and it would take a special set of circumstances for you to get into a situation where they tried.

I hope this helps.

DCG

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It seems like every legal advise ignores the obvious or stay away from very uncomfortable circumstances. 1. I hate banks and shouldn't be forced to do business with company to operate my own finances, so if it's not illegal why can't I carry it! You telling me just not to carry it is like someone saying if you are being harassed because you are black just don't go out. This is very disappointing, I need to kno how to take MY money ( which is not illegal) through the airport with out being harassed. And yes they are tricking you out your money , everyday. Lawyers states this is civil and most cases are not criminal and charges are almost never brought against ppl carrying this money. The civil case becomes the focus point, since the burden of proof becomes on the party that's trying to retrieve the property that is NOT in their possesion it become very important to never let the property from your possesion, so the question still remain how do I retain possesion sense it's not illegal property. Or are we suppose to be ok with your human rights being violated , and officers are taking legal property off your person with assuming that it may be illegal action going on, and that is very prejudice and profiling on its most clear definition of prejudice .plz don't take this question lightly , I wonder will this question be so hard to answer if law enforcement was taking ppl guns away from them because it seems like they may be involve in some criminal activity even before any criminal charges or case have been formed!
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

What you are asking is not so much of a legal question as a social policy question. The fact is that in this day and age, people who move large amounts of cash, especially through airports, are usually up to no good. Human rights is a balancing test - your rights balanced against society's need to preserve law and order. No right is absolute. You do not have unlimited free speech rights for instance.

The short answer is that you can move your money as you wish. To limit problems, I suggest that you have appropriate paperwork with you so that if challenged, you can quickly be on your way. On the other hand, if you have a suitcase full of cash, no paperwork and refuse to discuss what you are up to, then you are probably have problems. This balances you right to move money against society's interest in preventing drug trafficking, human trafficking, theft, fraud....the list goes on. You do not have a human right to move money.

I hope this helps.

DCG