The Justice Department will resume civil asset forfeitures for drug possession and other crimes. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reauthorized the controversial practice last week.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder restricted the practice in 2015 in part to address growing concerns from Congress that policing agencies were abusing it. Critics cite the high volume of asset forfeitures that did not result in criminal charges or convictions. The Drug Enforcement Agency used the technique to seize nearly $1B in assets in less than a decade. In many cases, the agency did not find a proven link to criminal activity.
Currently, police can seize property, money and other assets from individuals without obtaining a conviction. This has raised significant constitutional questions regarding due process. Nearly half of all states restrict the use of civil asset forfeiture, but these restrictions do not prevent civil asset forfeiture under federal law.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says that police agencies may again use the policy, but stressed that they can only retain assets if they can demonstrate the asset’s connection to criminal activity.
Los Angeles drug possession attorney
If you’re facing drug possession charges, you need an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. The federal and state governments treat drug possession differently than most crimes, and have different tools they can use.
That’s why you must have an attorney who knows what it takes to defend you against state or federal prosecutors. You need an attorney who will fight aggressively for your constitutional rights.
Don’t make yourself a victim of policing agencies and prosecutors in a drug possession case. Work with an attorney you can trust.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County drug possession case.
Photo Credit: West Midlands Police, via Flickr.com