State Civil Asset Forfeiture Law Takes Effect Wednesday

By Daniel Perle
Published: Monday, August 7, 2017 - 4:15pm

HB 2477 officially becomes law on Wednesday.

It limits the state’s ability to seize property it suspects is related to criminal activity.

Attorney J Cabou said the state must now have “clear and convincing evidence” of criminality.

“Rather than having to prove its case just by the standard of preponderance, or what’s called more likely than not, the state has to prove its case to a much higher degree," Cabou said. "So it’s not as high as in a criminal case which would be beyond a reasonable doubt but it’s higher than in an ordinary civil case which would be preponderance.”

Cabou added that numerous states around the country are reforming their civil asset forfeiture laws, with some such as New Mexico ending the practice altogether.

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