Don’t Believe the Government’s Talking Points about Civil Asset Forfeiture

They claim a typical cash seizure amounts to a lot of money. It doesn’t. In reality, it’s  more like several hundred dollars to a little over $1,000.

They claim that when property is seized, the owner can recover it in court. That’s not what happens. For someone deprived of hundreds of dollars, paying a lawyer thousands to try to retrieve it is not cost-effective.

They imply seizure and forfeiture are governed by due process of law. In reality, there is slim likelihood of recovery, a low standard of proof that empowers law enforcement over civilians, and powerful government revenue incentives at work that stack the deck.