LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that would reform the process of civil asset forfeiture to ensure innocent Michigan residents don’t lose their personal property.
Currently, law enforcement has the authority to take and keep the property of individuals who have not been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.
Senate Bill 2 would require that an individual be convicted of or plead guilty to a crime before law enforcement could take ownership of personal property through the civil asset forfeiture process. Seized personal property would be returned if a person is not convicted of a crime.
“My bill solves a problem that could affect any innocent resident in our state and I appreciate the bipartisan support of my Senate colleagues,” said Sen. Peter J. Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “The current process has been abused for too long and hurt too many. It only makes sense that we make this change to protect the due process rights of innocent property owners, while still empowering law enforcement to be tough on crime.”
SB 2 now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Editor’s note: Video of Lucido speaking of the bill’s passage is available on his website at https://www.senatorpetelucido.com/video/.