Michigan Civil Seizure Laws Treat Citizens As Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Current Michigan civil seizure laws allow law enforcement officials to detain Michigan residents and take their property without being ticketed or charged with a crime. Police officers can seize your car or other property based on the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing. This often happens in cases of suspected prostitution and solicitation.

According to an editorial in last week’s Detroit Free Press, two Michigan lawmakers now recognize the abuses of civil seizures. State Rep. Gabe Leland, D-Detroit, has introduced a bill requiring police to charge an individual with a crime when property is seized or return the property without cost. Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, plans to introduce similar legislation in the State Senate. These bills come on the heels of the Detroit News’ report detailing how communities turn the civil seizure process into revenue streams to subsidize law enforcement.

As Sex Crimes Defense attorneys, we support the new bills. Too often overly aggressive police agencies set up “stings” to lure otherwise law-abiding citizens to allegedly solicit a “prostitute” who is actually an undercover police officer. If they suspect a law-abiding citizen is soliciting prostitution, the individual may be forced to forfeit his car to the state. Further, those suspected of prostitution may have their cars seized as well. You will need a Michigan Sex Crimes Defense lawyer to help get your car back.

Michigan’s current civil seizure laws make it far too easy for law enforcement officials to trample on the civil liberties of Michigan’s residents.


If you’ve been charged with prostitution or solicitation, the lawyers at Grabel & Associates will help you fight back aggressively and act immediately to reclaim your property in the event it has been “forfeited” because of a pending charge.

Please contact Grabel & Associates, Michigan’s premier sex crimes defense firm if you’re facing changes of prostitution and solicitation, criminal sexual conduct or any other sex crime.

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