Saturday, May 9, 2015

SB 443: Bring an End to Civil Asset Forfeiture in CA!

A new bill sponsored by Senator Holly Mitchell proposes to reform the absurdities of civil asset forfeiture in California.

From the bill text:

The purpose of this bill is to 

1) require a criminal conviction for forfeiture of alleged cash drug proceeds and assets in excess of 
2) reduce the percentage of forfeiture proceeds distributed to prosecutors, law enforcement and the 
General Fund; 
3) distribute 5% of forfeiture proceeds to each of the courts and public defense; 
4) require that California standards be met before federal forfeiture proceeds can be distributed to 
a state of local law enforcement agency through equitable sharing; 
5) grant a right to counsel for indigent defendants in civil drug forfeiture matters; 
6) authorize attorneys' fees and costs for prevailing defendants in forfeiture cases; 
7) prohibit adoption by federal authorities of a state forfeiture matter; and 
8) require the California Department of Justice's annual asset forfeiture report to include data on 
forfeitures initiated under California law,federal adoptions, forfeiture case that were prosecuted 
under federal law, the number of suspects charged with drug crimes, the number of criminal charges brought under each of state and federal law and the disposition of these cases.

In short, to stop this travesty:

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