Michigan Passes Law Limiting Asset Forfeiture
Article from michiganradio.org by Chatherine Schaffer.
In Michigan, police can seize your property if they believe it’s involved in a crime. And they can auction it off before you’re convicted of anything. Actually, before you’re even charged with a crime.
Senator Peter Lucido (R-8) has been a vocal critic of civil asset forfeiture ever since he was a public defender thirty years ago. His bill that would make police wait until they get a conviction to begin the forfeiture process. That’s where seized property is legally transferred into police ownership. “Basically it’s to go ahead and level the playing field and make it fair again. No property right should be diminished as a result of police officers taking. And no one should lose their property until convicted beyond a reasonable doubt,” says Lucido.
The new law would apply to assets worth less than fifty thousand dollars.
Senate and House versions of civil forfeiture reform have enjoyed strong bipartisan support. And a timely US Supreme Court decision is stirring up enthusiasm. The court ruled that large civil forfeitures may violate the constitution.
Read the entire article at michiganradio.org.
Image Credit: By St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons