News Bite

In 2019, More Than 500 People Had Property Forfeited To Police Without Being Charged With A Crime

At least 513 people had their property taken away in 2019 by the police and were not charged with any crime, according to a state report.

The Michigan State Police compile the annual report and stated more than $12 million in cash and assets was seized in 2019. 

There were another 261 people that were charged but not convicted of the violation in which their property was forfeited to police.

Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture law was adopted in 1978. The law's purpose was to deprive criminals, specifically drug dealers, of the proceeds they can make from illegal activity. The assets from the forfeiture of property and cash goes to the law enforcement agencies.

Effective Aug. 7, 2019, a criminal conviction was a requirement before certain property could be forfeited to law enforcement agencies, according to the report. The state report covers Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 of 2019.

There were 578 people who had their property forfeited that their status was incomplete. That means it wasn’t known whether they were charged or convicted because the police agency didn’t provide the information in the survey.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.