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Take property without proof: Justice Department reinstates asset forfeitures

Staff Writer | July 19, 2017
The U.S. Justice Department announced plans Wednesday to seize property and money suspected of being used illegally in crimes, including drug-related incidents.
Justice Department
America   To seize property and money
The move is a reinstatement of policy that President Barack Obama's administration dropped.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new policy, in which local officials rely on the feds to ease the process of seizing assets from criminal suspects. The policy allows law enforcement to take property without proving a crime occurred.

"We need to send a clear message that crime does not pay," Sessions said at a Justice Department event, where he was joined by state and local law enforcement officials and prosecutors.

"With this new policy, the American people can be confident knowing we are following the law and taking action to defund criminals and at the same time protecting the rights of law-abiding people."

Sessions said the DOJ will not seize property unless the state involved provides information demonstrating that the seizure was justified from the beginning with probable cause.