Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture laws are in need of serious reform. In Arizona, the government may forfeit your property by showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is subject to forfeiture. Unfortunately, a property owner claiming an innocent owner exemption to the forfeiture laws—because, for example, he did not know his property was being used illegally—bears the burden of proving his innocence.In Arizona, law enforcement personnel have a strong incentive to seize as much property as they can since they receive 100 percent of the funds raised through civil forfeitures. Even more troublesome, Arizona law enforcement can use forfeiture revenue to pay the direct salaries of personnel. Arizona took advantage of its broad forfeiture statutes by collecting more than $64 million in forfeiture revenue in a mere four-year period (2000-2003). Arizona also received over $35 million in equitable sharing revenue from 2000 to 2008, although these numbers may overlap to some extent, as it is not clear whether equitable sharing revenue was included in responses to freedom of information requests.
 Keller, T., & Wright, J. (2004). Policing and prosecuting for profit: Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture laws violate basic due process protections (No. 198). Phoenix, AZ: Goldwater Institute.
Forfeitures as Reported to LEMAS (Drug-related only)
Total Assets Forfeited
Assets Forfeited per
Law Enforcement Agency
Equitable Sharing Proceeds from the Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF)
Proceeds Returned to State
Average per Year
Freedom of Information Data
Reports of forfeitures by county; types and numbers of law enforcement agencies unclear