Civil Asset Forfeiture: Forfeiting Your Rights

Jan 16, 2018
  • Description

The study examined 1,110 cases in 14 counties, representing 70% of the 1,591 civil asset forfeiture cases filed in Alabama in 2015. It found:

- Courts awarded $2.2 million to law enforcement agencies in 827 disposed cases.

- In a quarter of the cases filed, criminal charges were not brought against the person whose property was seized, resulting in the forfeiture of more than $670,000.

- The state won 84% of disposed cases against property owners not charged with crime.

- In 55% percent of cases where criminal charges were filed, the charges were related to marijuana. In 18% of cases where criminal charges were filed, the charge was simple possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia.

- In 64% of cases where criminal charges were filed, the defendant was black (African Americans comprise 27 percent of state's population).

- In half of the cases, the amount of cash was $1,372 or less.