Attorney Jerrold Bodow Examines California Senate Bill 443

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Attorney Jerrold Bodow, of Coastal Legal Center, in light of a Tenth Amendment Center article, discusses California Senate Bill 443, which limits law enforcement from seizing private property under asset forfeiture.

Attorney Jerrold Bodow

Attorney Jerrold Bodow

Hopefully, the ugly scenario of seizing people’s property to fund local police and other municipal monetary needs will at least decrease. This is a good beginning.

According to a January 1, 2017, Tenth Amendment Center article, a California law recently went into effect that restricts state officials from seizing property without due process. Furthermore, California Senate Bill 443 sets additional restrictions to prevent abuses from civil asset forfeiture.

“It used to be many municipalities added substantial funding from people they arrested when they seized their assets, which included not only what was on their person, or in their cars, but what was also found pursuant to searches, either with warrants or warrantless, which were often questionable searches,” said attorney Jerrold Bodow, President of Coastal Legal Center. “Homes and cars were seized if a reason could be created to do so. To get these assets back, one had to file a claim in court, and litigate their right to the assets.”

If used appropriately, adds Bodow, asset forfeiture makes sense, as it takes “ill-gotten gains” from drug dealers and others who became wealthy through criminal activities. However, many innocent people were caught in the efforts, and many who could not afford legal counsel ended up abandoning their assets to the government.

Now, due to Senate Bill 443, state law enforcement or local police will need a conviction to hold onto a share of property seized during federal investigations unless the forfeited property is $40,000 or more in cash. In state cases, they’ll need a conviction to keep less than $40,000 worth of cash or property, like homes and vehicles.

“In my opinion, this legislation is long overdue,” concluded Bodow. “Hopefully, the ugly
scenario of seizing people’s property to fund local police and other municipal monetary needs will at least decrease. This is a good beginning.”

About Jerrold Bodow, Coastal Legal Center
Jerrold Bodow represents people in the areas of criminal defense, Courts-martials, and military administrative proceedings, such as administrative discharge boards. He holds a “BV distinguished” rating with Martindale-Hubbell, a peer rating organization, and the highest ranking available, a 10.0, with, another lawyer rating organization. For more information, please call (888) 828-7548, or visit The law office is located at 501 West Broadway, Suite 1340, San Diego, CA 92101.

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