What is an assignment of money seized?

An “assignment of money seized” is when you sign an agreement that says Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) owns any money that was taken (seized) when you were arrested. If there is suspicion that the money has been acquired illegally and/or is related to the offence, the police can seize your money whether or not you have been charged with an offence.

LAO will ask for this assignment of money seized if the police confiscated $1,000 or more when you were arrested. You can find the total amount of money seized on the written summary of evidence collected by the police. This summary is called the police synopsis (it is part of the disclosure package).

Any amount lower than $1,000 is waived and not subject to an assignment. An assignment of money seized is waived if you are not claiming ownership or interest in the funds and the funds are not recoverable (i.e., counterfeit money or funds belonging to the police as part of the investigation or operation).