Nevada is one step closer to ending the perverse “policing for profit” program, thanks to yesterday’s introduction of Assembly Bill 420.
Existing law allows police to seize property from those never convicted, or even charged, with a crime. Making matters worse, the seizing agency is entitled to a sizeable portion of the proceeds generated by forfeited property.
AB420 proposes two critical reforms. First, it requires a conviction (or similar plea agreement) before forfeiture proceedings can be initiated. Second, it eliminates the “policing for profit” incentive by directing the bulk of forfeiture proceeds towards the State Permanent School Fund, rather than law enforcement.
“For decades, forfeiture laws have upended the due-process rights of ordinary Nevadans,” said Nevada Policy Senior Policy Analyst Daniel Honchariw. “It’s well past time for legislation of this type.”
AB420 is being spearheaded by Asm. Steve Yeager, who has firsthand experience of how forfeiture is abused under the current system, thanks to his experience as a public defender.
Forfeiture has been shown to have a disparate impact on communities of color and the impoverished within Clark County, meaning the people most often impacted by current forfeiture policies are those least capable of defending themselves in court.
“Nevada Policy applauds Asm. Yeager for bringing AB420 forward and for all his efforts to end the unjust practice of civil asset forfeiture,” said Honchariw.
“The Legislature should join the broad, bipartisan reform movement sweeping the nation and restore the due process rights of all Nevadans by passing AB420.”
To learn more about this issue, be sure to visit the “civil asset forfeiture” section of NPRI’s Solutions 2019 policy sourcebook.