Michigan Criminal Lawyer, Josh Jones

New Michigan Civil Asset Forfeiture Law – Limits Seizures

In May of 2019, Governor Whitmer signed new Michigan Civil Asset Forfeiture law into existence, which now limits the ability of police to seizure or confiscate property that may or could be involved in criminal activity. The underlying purpose it so obtain property that is directly connected to the criminal activity at hand. Therefore, the defendant is essentially using the property in some fashion to propel the activity or obtained the property directly from the activity. Prior to the new Michigan Civil Asset Forfeiture law, officers in Michigan could proactivity seize and even forfeit the property seized prior to or even without a criminal conviction.

The new Michigan Civil Asset Forfeiture law now requires there to be criminal convictions prior to the forfeiture or permanent taking of the property seized. This drastically limits the leverage that police used to have over an individual and their personal property that was taken during an investigation. This also ensures that defendants are afforded more individual rights, requiring a guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to be found prior to the taking of property. In the end, generally the only way around a successful conviction in order to bring about a forfeiture of assents or property, the value of the property must be over $50,000. This would not include the value of the contraband, only the other property or assets seized in connection with the illegal activity.

Anytime there are criminal charges, or seizures of property due to possible criminal activity, it is essential to contact and obtain a criminal defense attorney. That is not a place you want to be without the guidance and assistance of someone who understand the criminal justice system. Because many situations involving assets forfeiture will require a conviction, the criminal proceedings will become even more important with this new law. Contact Josh Jones 7-days a week. He has your back, and he is here when you need to lawyer-up.