Americans for Forfeiture Reform report on another cash grab, this time by prosecutors. Buried in a proposed New York State bill is a measure that “was inserted at the request of prosecutors, especially Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.”
The measure increases the percentage of forfeiture takings that the DA’s office can keep. It also wildly expands what can be seized.
The worst part of the bill would allow courts to forfeit any property that is somehow involved in an offense if the person charged with the offense jumps bail.
2. IN THE EVENT OF A PENDING CRIMINAL CASE IN WHICH A DEFENDANT HAS ABSCONDED FROM THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT, THE COURT MAY ORDER FORFEITURE OF ANY PROPERTY, REAL OR PERSONAL, CONSTITUTING, OR DERIVED FROM, PROCEEDS OBTAINED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, AS THE RESULT OF ANY VIOLATION OF THE THIS CHAPTER, AS WELL AS ANY PROPERTY, REAL OR PERSONAL, INVOLVED IN ANY VIOLATION OF THIS CHAPTER, OR ANY PROPERTY TRACEABLE TO SUCH PROPERTY.
Note that it does not limit forfeitures to the property of the accused that jump bail. Rather, property involved in an offense where a defendant absconds from jurisdiction is subject to forfeiture. Thus, your property is subject to seizure if someone skips bail and your property is allegedly involved in, or traceable to property involved in, an offense that gave rise to their criminal charge. As stated, you neednâ€™t have any culpability to lose your property. Indeed, you might face the forfeiture of your property because of a crime against you or your property.
There’s a lot more here. These forfeiture schemes are really bad law, but what makes it worse is that the thieves themselves are writing the laws that let them steal “legally.”