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DOJ to make it easier for police to seize assets from suspects

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this past week a reversal in policy for the Department of Justice that will soon make it easier for police to seize assets from suspected criminals. This is a change from the previous administration, which limited this practice in fear that cash and property could be taken from suspects without evidence that a crime has even been committed.

“No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime,” said Sessions at a speech in Minnesota. The practice of asset forfeiture is often used in the case of drug suspects, who may have excess cash as a result of their illegal dealings. However, this new announcement could have affects for suspects of virtually any crime across the country.

How this policy could affect you

Local law enforcement uses asset forfeiture as a means to pay for some of their expenses, and some tend to abuse this privilege. Sometimes, it may seem that “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t apply when the police seize your assets, as simply being a suspect could give police the ability to take your money or property.

While this reversal in policy could boost funding for our local law enforcement, it could come at your own expense. Opponents of this new policy, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, claim that the cost of regaining your property could be more than the value of the property itself.

This could mean that even when you are proven to be innocent, getting your seized property back could be out of the question.

While the practice has always been in effect, it was more strictly regulated over the past few years. Those accused of committing a crime need to be mindful of this new policy, and know their rights when police come to seize their property.

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