Asset Forfeiture – Again May 21, 2016

As a result of a conversation I recently had with an Assemblyman, I’ve decided to clarify my view on Asset Forfeiture.  When a person is arrested on drug charges, or whatever other charges trigger these things, I don’t mind if the assets are ‘frozen’ or held in a sort of escrow pending the results of the trial.  We do the same with people; we hold them in jail awaiting trial unless a suitable bail is posted.  But when the person is found innocent, all the frozen assets revert back to him.  The point is that the holding of the assets should remain under the criminal law, with all the civil rights pertaining thereto; it should not be a separate case under civil law, where our Constitutional civil rights, as I have pointed out, are not as strong.

2 Comments
LoveMoveLearn 05/22/2016

Howard, are you aware of any efforts to bring asset forfeiture under the purview of criminal law?

Alan Blanchard 05/22/2016

Time and again, relatives of criminal suspects get caught up in asset seizure forfeiture in Michigan, even when the innocent property owner had no knowledge, much involvement in the relative’s accused criminal activity. Losing a house or reliable transportation can be devastating to an innocent party, who has no recourse

… fortunately, Michigan is starting to address this black and white, one-size-fits-all state asset seizure law, i.e. http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/10/snyder_signs_michigan_civil_as.html

10/21/2015 MLive.com news article states in part: Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed a seven-bill package that supporters see as a first step in a larger effort to reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow police agencies to profit from seized property linked to a crime even if the owner is never charged or convicted.

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