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Articles Tagged with criminal charges

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silverado-2629366_1920-300x200Even though he was acquitted of the criminal charge leveled against him, Aaron Dorn still lost his truck to a process known as civil asset forfeiture. Inspired by the man’s case, a North Dakota state representative is introducing a bill to reform civil forfeiture in the state.

Last summer, I reported on the man’s situation. In the fall of 2016, he had traveled from his home in New York state to join the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The man was arrested by a police officer who claimed he had attempted to ram the officer’s police car with his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.
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close-up-doctor-health-42273-300x200A year after a Michigan doctor was acquitted of criminally overprescribing medication, a judge has ordered that the $6.2 million in assets seized during the investigation be returned to him.

Dr. Joseph Edwin Oesterling of Saginaw in Central Michigan had been accused of running a “pill mill,” a term used by investigators to describe a doctor who inappropriately gives out medication, often for non-medical reasons.
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Last year, police in Utah seized over $2.5 million in cash and property using civil asset forfeiture. This is a sharp increase on the $1.4 million seized in 2016, fueling concerns that property may be taken from innocent people.

Civil asset forfeiture is a system which allows law enforcement to seize property suspected of being connected to a crime. Before the property can be seized permanently, law enforcement in Utah is required to show clear, convincing evidence that it was linked to a crime. However, this requirement falls below the standard followed in criminal cases: that it must be proved “beyond reasonable doubt.” No criminal charges are needed for police to take property.
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