Search
Facebook Twitter Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200
SERVICE

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

When Police Confiscate Property

June 5th, 2017 at 7:15 am

police confiscate property, Rolling Meadows, criminal law, seize property, civil forfeiture, private propertyIllinois lawmakers unanimously passed a measure making it more arduous for law enforcement to confiscate property from innocent owners. The bill passed in the Senate and will now head to the house.

The plan would shift the burden of proof to authorities in circumstances where they seize an individual’s property under a criminal investigation. As it stands, Illinois law allows for the confiscation of an individual’s property even in cases where no formal charges are levied against the owner.

There is a strong financial incentive for law enforcement agencies to seize property. Once the property has been taken, then the agency who took possession of the property, in many cases, reaps the rewards of the proceeds from the civil asset forfeiture. In addition to not having a constitutionally guaranteed right to counsel once a person has had his or her property seized, it can be costly to challenge and often leaves people with no mechanism to get their property back.

What is Civil Forfeiture?

Civil forfeiture refers to the legal process in which law enforcement seizes assets from a person suspected of involvement with criminal activity. The controversial nature of this policy has its genesis in the fact that formal criminal charges do not have to be filed to seize property. Every year in Illinois, authorities snatch tens of millions of dollars in cash, cars, and land from Illinois state citizens. As of 2005, Illinois law enforcement has seized over $319 million from Illinois residents in concert with federal authorities who have seized over $404 million over the same period.

Forfeiture laws can be traced back to admiralty law. Historically, authorities were allowed to seize contraband from ships engaging in criminal activity. The Crime Control Act of 1984 broadened civil forfeiture at the federal level.  

Proposed Changes

The new bill passed by the Illinois Senate would place a stricter burden on law enforcement officials attempting to seize private citizens property. The bill would require that officials prove that the individual consented to his or her assets being used for criminal activity, reversing the current law requiring the citizen to prove that he or she was not involved. The new law would also create a streamlined process for innocent parties who have had their property seized to take possession of their property.

Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense

Being charged with a crime is a serious ordeal, even in cases where no civil forfeiture has occurred. It is essential to enlist the help of a dedicated and knowledgeable Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley provides clients with thorough and detailed criminal defense for matters including traffic offenses, DUI defense, and a litany of other criminal cases. Contact our Rolling Meadows office at 847-394-3200 to schedule your initial consultation.

Source:

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/asset-forfeiture-in-illinois/

Share this Post : Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top