Policing for Profit

How would you feel if a jealous friend, disgruntled coworker/boss/employee, or malicious acquaintance accused you of having and/or selling illegal drugs, and the police, without proof, seized your car, home, and savings because you were suspected of breaking the law?

No, this nightmare scenario is not a plot for a novel.

Unfortunately, this is an age-old practice known as “policing for profit” that allows federal law enforcement agencies to seize personal assets and funnel them through a process called the Equitable Sharing Program, facilitated by the Department of Justice.

This scenario is all too familiar for people who were deprived of their due process: they weren’t convicted or even charged with a crime, and their assets were seized. What would you do in this situation? If you can afford it, you’d probably hire legal representation and fight. What if you can’t afford an attorney? What if the cost of challenging civil forfeiture exceeds the value of your property seized?

Is this fair?

Congress doesn’t think so and has introduced bipartisan legislation called the FAIR Act, S. 642 / H.R. 1555. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, this law would require clear and convincing evidence in civil forfeiture cases, boosts legal rights granted to the property owner who may not have the resources to challenge a wrongful seizure, increases the federal government’s burden of proof in civil forfeiture proceedings, and eliminates the Equitable Sharing Program.

If you agree, please click on the following link:  Tell your members of Congress to support the FAIR Act right now.

Warmest Regards,                                                                                                                         Michele

Michele I. Khoury                                                                                                                           Author, Busted                                                                                                 www.michelekhoury.com

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