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DA's office drops case seeking to seize man’s moped over meth possession

A man fighting to keep a moped, his man mode of transportation, can now retrieve it after the Hall County District Attorney’s Office dismissed the case, according to court records.

In early October, the Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office filed a case to seize the property of Richard Jamison Smith under what is known as civil forfeiture, where property connected to illegal activity may be seized by law enforcement.

Assistant public defender Matthew Cavedon, who had represented Smith on the underlying drug offense, said he would work pro bono outside of his public defender duties to defend against the seizure.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Wanda Vance filed a dismissal Tuesday, March 12 “on the grounds that the costs of continuing the litigation are so great in comparison to the costs of the vehicle that the forfeiture is no longer in the interests of (the) state of Georgia.”

Smith previously told The Times he bought the 2018 TMEC Motosport 150 earlier this year after selling his house.

Roughly a month after purchasing the moped, Smith was found with a couple of grams of methamphetamine in his backpack while riding the moped.

“He was riding a moped at the time of his arrest. That is the only connection between the moped and his crime,” Cavedon previously told The Times.

Cavedon declined to comment this week to The Times.

Smith was given three years of probation and 50 hours of community service.

An attempt to reach Smith this week for comment was unsuccessful.

According to the dismissal, Smith has 30 days from Tuesday to contact Braselton Police to make arrangements about picking up the moped.

“Failure to do so will result in the property being deemed abandoned property under Georgia law,” according to the dismissal.