Civil asset forfeiture reform reintroduced in Legislature

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MADISON, Wis. – Law enforcement would no longer be able to seize and keep an innocent person’s property under a bill aimed at reforming Wisconsin’s civil asset forfeiture law.

State. Sen. Dave Craig last week released the bill for co-sponsorship.

The Town of Vernon Republican said it’s astonishing that it’s “common practice” in Wisconsin and so many other states to allow law enforcement and district attorneys to launch civil lawsuits against property suspected to have been used in a criminal enterprise even though the person linked to the property is never charged with a crime.

“That is a grave concern to me as a conservative and it should be a grave concern to all of us who submit to a constitution,” Craig told Wisconsin Watchdog Friday on the Vicki McKenna Show on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA.

Craig’s reform bill allows forfeiture of property only after conviction, to ensure that “citizens are truly treated as innocent until proven” guilty.

The bill’s “innocent owner” provision requires property seized during an arrest to be returned to innocent owners of the property if the criminal activity occurred without their knowledge and they can prove their ownership.

Read more at Wisconsin Watchdog by clicking here.

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