"Highway Piracy" Alleged by Lawmakers in Texas Forfeitures

Here's how forfeiture works in Texas: The cops take your money and property. They make you sign a form that if you relinquish the property, they won't file criminal charges against you.

As one lawmaker says:

“The idea that people lose their property but are never charged and never get it back, that’s theft as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

One mayor, in an attempt to justify the policy, says the cities need the money -- they may get an extra police car out of it.

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  • Display: Sort:
    This is just a crock Jeralyn. (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Teresa on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:25:22 PM EST
    The girlfriend of a guy who worked for my husband loaned her car to her little brother one night. He got stopped and they found a small amount of pot. They took her car. Took it for good.

    Isn't this (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 10:12:57 PM EST
    just plain old extortion?

    And what about all that business about due process?

    isn't this a plea bargain? (2.00 / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:29:20 PM EST
    This sounds like a plea bargain to me--drop the charges in exchange for the payment of a fine with no record of a conviction.  
    After all, those who were arrested can always refuse to sign and take it to trial with a chance of acquittal, or am I missing something here?

    They had no lawyer to advise them, for one. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Teresa on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:41:19 PM EST
    Sounds more like a type of theft crime (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:45:01 PM EST
    The taking and carrying away the personal property of another with the intent to permeantly deprive by use of force or threat of force.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:47:52 AM EST
    a "plea bargain" at the barrel of a gun with a guy who can take your freedom temporarily on nothing more than a whim.

    That, my friend, is no bargain...that's a racket.


    And its' all 'for the children!' (none / 0) (#7)
    by SeeEmDee on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 07:22:50 AM EST
    Yeah, right. Recall the story about how a K9 officer had his drug dog sniff currency, the dog barked, signaling detection of drugs, and the cop emptied the cash register? Considering that most currency in the US has cocaine residue on it, the likelihood of an alert is very high.

    The police have become the modern-day equivalent of the very people they once were hired to chase down and catch, the 'highwaymen'.

    Oh, but we mustn't complain, oh no! It's all for the kiddies, dontcha know?

    Wow, this really doesn't seem right. (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 12:46:02 PM EST
    There must be more to the story. At least, I hope so.