civil forfeiture | WABE 90.1 FM

civil forfeiture

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In Georgia, as in some other states, law enforcement can take property from a person if they suspect it's connected to a crime, but they do not necessarily have to charge or convict that person with that crime. It's a process known as civil asset forfeiture. According to Georgia law, to keep the property, the government must show with a "preponderance of the evidence" that it's connected to a crime.

Atlanta Police officer on patrol.
David Goldman / Associated Press

State lawmakers are looking to change how law enforcement agencies can use the proceeds from property they seize.

A coalition of groups, including the ACLU, have pushed for more transparency in the process known as civil forfeiture, when law enforcement seizes your property without charging someone with a crime.

Critics say the process has led to what they call for “policing for profit.”