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.