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Indiana Said the Government Should Be Able To Take Everything You Own if You Commit a Drug Crime. The State Supreme Court Wasn't Having It.

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Civil Asset Forfeiture

Billy Binion | 6.10.2021 3:35 PM

In February of 2021, almost eight years after the state of Indiana seized Tyson Timbs' brand-new Land Rover over a drug crime, prosecutors argued that there should be no proportionality when it comes to such offenses—in other words, that the government should essentially be free to take everything you're worth.

Today, the state's highest court categorically rejected that.

The conclusion is not only good for Timbs—who will get to keep his vehicle, once and for all—but for others who would have fallen victim to Indiana prosecutors' extremely broad definition of what constitutes a legal and proportional civil forfeiture. The practice allows the government to take your property and pocket it, sometimes if you're only suspected of committing a crime. In Indiana, prosecutors must merely meet the "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which requires less than evidence than is needed to get a criminal conviction.

After unsuccessfully making his way through the state courts, Timbs' case was the subject of a 2019 landmark Supreme Court ruling, which dictated that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against excessive fines and fees applies to state........

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