Are the civil asset forfeiture laws about to change in Mississippi?

Have the police ever seized your property? Would you know what to do if they did?

The Mississippi Legislature is back in session and committees are considering new bills. Currently, a new piece of legislation regarding asset forfeiture is being deliberated.  Presently, law enforcement can seize property when there is a probability that the property was used in connection with a crime.

                According to The Clarion Ledger, the proposed bill would create:

  • “A website maintained by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) to list and track civil asset forfeitures.
  • That a civil seizure warrant be obtained for each seizure within 72 hours, excluding weekends, from a county or circuit judge in that jurisdiction.
  • And that all forfeiture cases be prosecuted by MBN or the district attorney for the area where property was seized.”

The current system operates in an “eat what you kill” manner. Each agency is allowed to retain the property or cash money they seize from criminal suspects, and the agencies are not required to report the seizures. The new legislation would create more oversight and transparency when police seize a person’s property.

Property seized by law enforcement as part of an arrest or criminal investigation can be a scary and difficult situation. Should you, a family member, or a close friend find yourself subject to arrest or seizure of your personal property, please call our office at 601-948-4444. You can receive a free consultation to discuss your options. Please also check out our attorneys at http://www.mississippidui.com, at avvo.com, at superlawyers.com, and at martindale.com.

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