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Governor signs bill to require criminal conviction before assets are seized

Flickr User David Shane

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new law that says police departments cannot keep assets seized as part of an investigation unless the owner is convicted of a crime.

Prosecutors have used civil actions to seize assets as part of a strategy to combat drug dealing. But critics says the seizures violate due process rights.

Governor Whitmer is a former county prosecutor who says it was a solution that became a problem.

 “I know that many of our citizens have not been treated fairly, or offered the protections that they deserve, and that changes today.”

The protections do not apply in cases where police seize more than 50 thousand dollars 22 cash from a suspected criminal.