WXYZ-TV | Authorities seize millions in cash and property, often without ever bringing charges

A Detroit TV station's story regarding House Bill 4499, legislation sponsored by Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, to raise the burden of proof for civil asset forfeiture from "a preponderance" to "clear and convincing" evidence of criminal activity, as Sheriff Bouchard explains...

"Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is an advocate for reforming the state’s forfeiture laws. He says that while they’re vital to thwarting criminal activity, more measures should be taken to ensure that innocent people don’t become victims. Right now, cops only need to meet a low burden of proof—called a preponderance of evidence--to take someone’s property.

Bouchard says the standard should be higher. 'If you can’t prove a clear and convincing, direct nexus to criminal activity,' Bouchard said, 'it shouldn’t be taken, in my opinion.' Today, there’s legislation in Lansing that could make those changes happen, moving through the House of Representatives right now."

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