💵Petition for Return of Seized Cash


If we take your case and decide to file an administrative petition for remission or mitigation of seized cash (money) it is a legal brief or memorandum that contains legal argument, application of the relevant case law, regulations and statutes, judicial interpretations of the laws (which sometimes vary based on the location of seizure), and, when helpful, references to customs published remission & mitigation guidelines for failure to report (or unpublished remission & mitigation guidelines for bulk cash smuggling and structuring cases).

When the facts allow, the administrative petition for return of cash seized by CBP gives a detailed factual narrative of yours and the seizing officers’ actions and statements leading up to the seizure. We always strongly argue for a full return (remission) of the money in the petition or, even when there may be a valid basis for the currency seizure, a strong argument for return of all but a very small portion of the money as a “fine” or penalty (mitigation), rather than forfeiture of all your money.

Sometimes the notice of seizure contains bad legal advice like the level of proof required, what type of documentation must be produced, or it may “require” an “explanation” about why you “broke the law.” Admitting you violated the law is always a bad idea; and once you admit it, you cannot take it back when CBP decides to keep the seized money based on your admission.

We balance your 5th amendment right against self-incrimination against giving Customs enough information to return seized money. An administrative petition should never be an “apology letter” or “explanation” like some people prepare (incredibly, I’ve seen even other lawyers do this). The administrative petition for remission or mitigation of seized currency we prepare for our clients’ are usually 11 or more pages, plus exhibits. This is because a petition is a legal document that is necessary to get seized cash back from customs, even if CBP does not require any particular form.

Here are some issues we consider in writing and filing the administrative petition make for our customs currency seizure clients:

If the search was unconstitutional then the money must be returned.

If the seizure was unconstitutional then the money must be returned.

If the notice of seizure was not issued on time, the government cannot continue the seizure without taking additional steps to legalize their possession.

The burden of proof determines “who must convince who” whether the seized cash should be returned.

This standard of proof determines how the party with the burden of proof must go to win.

The eighth amendment of the U.S. constitution can limit, in certain circumstances, the amount of money that customs can keep after seizure.

If there is no violation of law, then the money must be returned and, in certain cases, the government must pay your attorney fees.

If you admit a violation of law then you cannot defend yourself if you are later charged with a crime, or if Customs refuses to return money.

As in the above answer, if you unknowingly admit you violated a law then you cannot defend yourself if criminally charged. You may admit to do something that you do not consider important but which is illegal, even beyond violating the currency reporting requirements.

If so, you not be entitled to have more than a certain dollar amount in assets. You may lose eligibility for these programs and be responsible for repayment to the government or could be criminally charged with fraud.

If there are aggravating factors, penalties can increase by 10% to 25% for each factor. If there are mitigating factors, penalties can be reduced by equal amounts, or even in some extraordinary cases penalties can be completely waived ($0 penalty).

This could result in extraordinary mitigation in the form of a $0 penalty.

If you did, you may not have violated the law and you could get back all of your seized money.

If not, your case will be denied or take much longer.

If not, your case will be denied or take much longer.

Any lawyer worth your time in petitioning to get seized currency back from CBP should know to ask you these questions and be able to analyze them with you. You or your lawyer should do something other than than just apologizing and admitting a violation of the laws on reporting money over $10,000.

If you are looking for a sample petition to respond to a customs money seizure, you can start with the basic Customs Form 4609 called Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred. This form, though made by Customs, is really intended for property seizures and penalty cases under the customs laws of Title 19, not the currency and monetary reporting requirements under Title 31; though it could be a starting point, it’s far too minimal as an administrative petition for remission or mitigation in a currency seizure case by itself.

Getting seized money back from CBP via petition is not simple; the customs officers seizing money sometimes say this or make it sound like you just have to call a number or write a letter to get the money back. This is not true!

If it was ever true, CBP is increasingly making it harder for people to get seized currency (money) back for structuring and bulk cash smuggling cases, especially when there is also a failure to report case. Don’t trust the people at CBP who seized your cash for advice on how to get your seized cash back, contact us for a free currency seizure consultation instead.

Saddam Issa
Saddam Issa
August 19, 2021.
Verified
Mr. Jason is the best lawyer you could have to represent you if you money was taken from you at the airports. He is very respectful., kind, professional, punctual, and knowledgeable. He attends to emails very regularly and respond super fast. He gives accurate Infor and dates with regards to the process of gaining your money back. Do not hesitate to hire him. I am extremely happy with his service.
Atika Elouali
Atika Elouali
August 7, 2021.
Verified
Great service
elias espinoza
elias espinoza
May 19, 2021.
Verified
Excellent customer service. Very professional. Promp response! Highly recommend Jason and his team.
Gloria
Gloria
May 1, 2021.
Verified
If anyone needs help, I strongly recommend here. Jason provides fast and accurate solutions and best service. He keeps track of my case properly, and check the progress. The cost of their services is honest and reasonable. I truly believe in here.
Yulia Kondrateva
Yulia Kondrateva
March 3, 2021.
Verified
Amazing !!! Outstanding service !!! Affordable prices, great overall experience . Jason is a great person!!! He always replies right away, no delays, no misunderstanding or miscommunication. He is very hard working and honest person. Besides being a great professional in customs law and knowing all customs law procedures Jason also psychologically supported me and my family when we faced our problem. He was able to explain everything in a manner so things were easy to understand. I never had any issues before and be honest didn’t even know where to go to ask for help!!! I got lucky and found Great Lake Customs Law as advertising on google page. I check the reviews and found many good words about Jason! I have no regrets about working with him because recently my case was resolved! I am very happy with outcome and would like to share my experience with others who are struggling at the moment and don’t know what to do and where to go in hard custom law situations. I would love to thank you Jason one more time for all his great work he did for me and my family!!! I would definitely recommend Great Lake Customs Law to my friends, family and anybody who needs help in customs law.
Mohammad Khalil
Mohammad Khalil
December 13, 2020.
Verified
Randall Roberts
Randall Roberts
November 2, 2020.
Verified
We had to use Jason for 2 instances of seizure and he was able to secure the return of or seized property.
Johnny So
Johnny So
September 5, 2020.
Verified
As a fellow attorney (but not in customs law), I found Jason to be professional, prompt, and a great communicator. He resolved our customs case with Detroit CBP very quickly, with very little on our end to do. I think it is very important to hire an attorney with relationships with the people at the governmental agencies you are dealing with (because relationships matter), and Jason has extensive experience on that front. An excellent job!
Jack Miniano
Jack Miniano
August 16, 2020.
Verified
Highly recommended. Amazing experience and very satisfied with the service and reasonable fees. Jason was very responsive. He always keep me in the progress and update. Great experience from Maryland customer.
Desiree Chon
Desiree Chon
July 2, 2020.
Verified
Jason has been amazing to work with from the get-go. Super friendly, helpful and responsive.