Georgia Civil Asset Forfeiture: No criminal charge, no problem
GEORGIA CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE LAW: NO CRIMINAL CHARGE, NO PROBLEM
One of the most astonishing issues concerning civil asset forfeiture law is that if a person is not charged with criminal activity, their property may still be forfeited. For example, a person may be stopped on the side of the road, and the police may seize $20,000.00 in cash from the person. The police may never seek to file formal criminal charges against the person. However, the police may seek to forfeit the funds from the person through civil asset forfeiture procedures.
STUDY SHOWS THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE PROPERTY SEIZED UNDER CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE LAWS DO NOT ULTIMATELY FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES
Unlike criminal forfeiture, in which prosecutors seize the proceeds of criminal activity as punishment for a crime, civil-asset forfeiture does not require a conviction or even a criminal charge: in fact, a study by Henry Hyde, a Republican former congressman, and the Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank, found that 80% of people whose property was seized by the federal government were never charged with a crime. Forfeiture proceedings are brought not against people, but against property that law enforcement need only allege is connected to criminal activity. –
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