Idaho lawmakers consider changing asset forfeiture laws

BOISE, ID - Two state lawmakers are working on a bill to change laws police use to seize property during drug seizure cases.

The Times-News reports Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, is working on the bill with Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, in hopes of ensuring property is only seized if it is directly connected to drug crimes.

The process of civil asset forfeiture allows police to take cash, cars, guns and other items used in the furtherance of drug crimes. The standard for seizures is the "preponderance of evidence" standard used in civil cases, lower than the standard used in drug cases.

In some cases, assets have been seized even when the person is not charged with a crime.

Rubel says she wants to scale back the types of property that can be taken so police are not overreaching.

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