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Arizona Senate passes bill to require criminal conviction before civil asset forfeiture

The bill aims to stop the government from being able to take a person's "car, cash, or house and hold it forever," without the person being convicted of a crime.
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ARIZONA, USA — The Arizona Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that looks to stop the government from being able to take a person's property without a criminal conviction.

The bill, HB 2810, was sponsored by the Goldwater Institute, a conservative public policy research organization, and will now head to the desk of state Governor Doug Ducey in order to be signed.

The bill looks to outlaw the ability of the government to take a person's property under civil asset forfeiture, which is "a practice that allows police and prosecutors to take, keep, and profit from someone’s property without even charging them with a crime," Deputy Director of Communications at the institute Jennifer Tiedemann said in a press release.

The press release also included other new policies, including:

  • Requiring officials to prove the property was being used in connection to illegal activity

  • Improving notice requirements by law enforcement when property is taken

  • Eliminating non-judicial forfeiture and creating a post-deprivation hearing process

  • Preventing the use of roadside waivers that coerce people into signing over their property immediately to law enforcement

"Now, HB 2810 is headed to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk, and Arizona stands poised to improve its notoriously harsh civil asset forfeiture laws," Tiedemann said. 

"Similar efforts have been sweeping the nation, all with bipartisan support. We encourage Gov. Ducey to sign HB 2810 and give Arizonans additional protections while still allowing law enforcement to stop illegal behavior."

Read the full text of the bill here.

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