Limits on seizures in drug cases clear Michigan Legislature

Posted at 10:52 AM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 10:52:37-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are giving final approval to bills that would limit law enforcement’s ability to take ownership of cash and other property seized in drug cases unless there is a conviction.

The legislation targets civil asset forfeiture, through which government entities take possession of seized property during criminal investigations and then sell or use it. Critics say the practice has been abused and is an example of “policing for profit” to fund law enforcement.

Bills clearing the Legislature on Thursday would prohibit assets taken in suspected drug crimes from being forfeited unless the defendant is convicted or the value of the money and property is more than $50,000 or less, excluding the value of contraband.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen is expected to sign the legislation that has overwhelmingly bipartisan support.