Be careful when driving with large amounts of cash in your vehicle

Troopers may ask to see proof

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions.

CHAMPIONS GATE, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Martha, of Champions Gate, asked, “Is there anything I should know when carrying large amounts of cash in the car?”

Well if you’re up to no good and get stopped by the police and have large amounts of cash on you, you’re going to have something to worry about. Civil asset forfeiture act requires you to show proof of cash when law enforcement is conducting an investigation.

Anything around $5,000 or more you should always have some type of paperwork showing where that money has come from, legally. This is to eliminate the idea that this money was earned or given during criminal activities for which you may be investigated. 

For example, several years ago while working traffic on the Florida Turnpike, I stopped a vehicle for speed and very dark window tint. During the course of the traffic stop I was overwhelmed by the smell of raw cannabis coming from the car.

Ultimately a search was done of the car, but no narcotics were found. What was found? Well, I found $95,000 in cash hidden in the driver's seat. The driver had no proof the funds belonged to him and it was temporarily seized. The driver was given 30 days to show proof the money was his. Ultimately, the driver never contacted us again about the cash. 

Florida Statute 932.701, the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act covers the details. 

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.