Asset forfeiture laws can be a complicated maze for experienced attorneys on the best of days. When an average person is caught up in that maze, they can end up facing a system where every turn can lead to a dead end. That was the situation Terry and Ria Platt found themselves in 2016 when the Navajo County Drug Task Force used civil forfeiture to seize their 2012 Volkswagen Jetta on Interstate 40 near Holbrook.
Police reportedly found a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle, along with drug paraphernalia and cash, but they didn’t have anything to do with those items. They allegedly tried to explain that they had loaned the vehicle to their adult son, who acknowledged ownership of the items. But unfortunately for the couple, Arizona civil forfeiture laws allow local and state law enforcement agencies to confiscate property they believe was used for criminal activity without worrying about formalities like an arrest and conviction.