Growth of Civil Asset Forfeiture

Fact: In many states and in all federal enforcement agencies, police may seize items believed to be used in committing a crime or bought with the profits of a crime. This applies to felonies and some misdemeanors.

Fact: Police make the initial decision at the time of the arrest, but they can keep the items regardless of whether the suspect is charged or convicted.

Fact: Police use or spend the items to make purchases and fund salaries for the department.

Fact: In 2003, the federal government seized $479 million worth of property. In 2012, it seized $4.18 billion, a nearly 1000% increase.

Source: Guilty Until Proven Innocent, Star-Telegram

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