Arizona’s civil forfeiture laws need to be reformed. In the upside-down world of civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize and keep cash and property that was allegedly involved in criminal activity—without ever proving a crime was actually committed. Unlike criminal forfeiture, with civil forfeiture a property owner need not be found guilty of a crime—or even charged with a crime—to permanently lose his or her cash, car, home or other property. Even property owners who are acquitted of crimes can still lose their property. As the Arizona Daily Star reported, a Picture Rocks woman was acquitted of criminal charges but was still forced to forfeit her house, where the alleged crime occurred. According to one deputy county attorney, pursuing forfeiture even when a defendant has been acquitted of criminal charges is not unusual.

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Policing for Profit: First Edition

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Policing for Profit: First Edition

Policing for Profit, 1st Edition Published in 2010, this is an older edition of IJ’s landmark Policing for Profit report. You can download the report here, but please see the third and current edition for the most up-to-date…