Illinois’ HB 303 aims to ease burden of proof on asset forfeiture

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A new law in Illinois is aiming to make it easier for people to get their seized property back. 

Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 303 this afternoon.

It puts more responsibility on the shoulders of the government. It also makes the process of getting property back more transparent.  

One of the most important ways it does that, is shifting the burden of proof from the person, to the government.

The way the law was structured in Illinois, the person in question had to state their case as to why they should receive their seized property back. That is now the responsibility of the Government. The bill also calls for agencies to establish a public database, showing what assets have been seized by which law enforcement agencies across the state. 

One local lawyer says this bill will make it easier not only for him, but for his clients, as well.

“It looks like it’s going to be really good, and it looks like we’ll be able to help people, now,” said Quad Cities attorney Steve Hanna. “Before, we had to charge them too much because we had to do so much work, and our chances still weren’t that good of prevailing. So now, our chances are much better of prevailing. I think we can take the government to task a lot easier. And, we can do it at a more reasonable price.”

The bill is set to go in motion on July 1, 2018.

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