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New Bills Could Change How Michigan’s Law Enforcement Seize Civil Property

We are sure that everyone here is well aware of the Fourth Amendment and how it works regarding search and seizure of a citizen’s home and property.

However, in our great state of Michigan, police are allowed to sometimes seize property for a person even without a charge placed against them or a judge formally registering a conviction against them.

But, some new bills being introduced by the House are trying to set in motion some changes to this long-standing controversial issue in Michigan –– with House bills 4001 and 4002.

  • Bill 4001 –  will require a criminal conviction to be conducted prior to law enforcement proceeding with any criminal procedure, forfeiture, or asset forfeiture.
  • Bill 4002 –  “To establish procedures, deadlines, burden of proof requirements for civil asset forfeiture legal proceedings in which a government agency (usually police) seek to take ownership of property that has been seized because it is suspected of being the proceeds or an “instrumentality” of a suspected drug-related crime. Among other things the bill establishes procedures allowing an innocent person who has an ownership interest in the suspected property (like the issuer of a vehicle loan) to get the property returned.”

Back in 2017, it was reported by state law enforcement agencies that $13.1 million of property and cash were confiscated from citizens through means of civil asset forfeiture. However, in some of those cases, either they were found not guilty and still had to forfeit over their property or in others, charges were never filed against them.

While some deeply support this move by the Legislature, it can be agreed that it should be tweaked. While this would still allow law enforcement the ability to seize property through probable cause, they must obtain a criminal conviction prior to selling or using the forfeited property.

Hiring A Motivated, Experienced Attorney for Your Civil Case

It can be agreed that this bill will certainly provide some added protections for citizens’ civil liberties, however, this isn’t the end of the story. While the Legislature does their best to implement laws to protect Michigan citizens, they are not completely safe from the downsides of the law –– which is where we come in.

When your civil rights have been violated and you have endured police misconduct, you need to contact a civil lawyer who is not intimidated by Michigan law enforcement or the court system. At Marko Law, we are reliable, professional, experienced, and motivated to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome from your case. We value all of our clients and do our best to sympathize with their situations. After all, everyone should be able to enjoy their civil rights without persecution or wrongdoing on the part of others. So, give us a call today and schedule your free consultation.

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