Kansas measure aims to change forfeiture laws

Kansas lawmakers are considering a law that would require a person be convicted of a crime before the state can take their property.

Kansas Legislature (KSN file photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A bill in the Kansas Legislature would change the current forfeiture law and require that a person has to be convicted of a crime before the state can take their property.

Kansas’ current forfeiture law does not require a person to be convicted of a crime before law enforcement can take property they believe was used in a crime.

The Lawrence Journal World reports a forfeiture case is civil, not criminal, and law enforcement must prove by a preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt that the seized property was used in a crime.

The new measure would require individuals be convicted of a crime before they can have their property taken.

Several law enforcement agencies oppose the measure because forfeitures provide police agencies with needed funding.

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