Forfeiture of property used in connection with commission of crimes; conviction required. (HB1287)

Introduced By

Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) with support from co-patrons Del. Rich Anderson (R-Woodbridge), Del. Peter Farrell (R-Henrico), Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun), Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan), and Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Forfeiture of property used in connection with the commission of crimes; conviction required. Requires that any action for the forfeiture of property used in connection with the commission of a crime be stayed until the person whose property is the subject of the forfeiture action has been convicted of the crime and has exhausted all appeals. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


09/23/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15100438D
09/23/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/13/2015Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
01/21/2015Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (10-Y 1-N)
01/26/2015Impact statement from DPB (HB1287)
01/28/2015Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (20-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2015Committee substitute printed 15104038D-H1
01/28/2015Incorporates HB1468
01/30/2015Read first time
02/02/2015Read second time
02/02/2015Committee substitute agreed to 15104038D-H1
02/02/2015Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1287H1
02/03/2015Read third time and passed House (92-Y 6-N)
02/03/2015VOTE: PASSAGE (92-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2015Constitutional reading dispensed
02/04/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/05/2015Impact statement from DPB (HB1287H1)
02/11/2015Reported from Courts of Justice (11-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2015Rereferred to Finance
02/17/2015Passed by indefinitely in Finance with letter (9-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 2 minutes.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB684.


ACLU-VA Criminal Justice writes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports requiring a criminal conviction for asset forfeitures. Under current law, state and local law enforcement agencies can seize assets that have a “substantial connection” to a drug offense, regardless of whether a person is convicted of or even charged with a crime. The money or property will then be forfeited to the Commonwealth unless the property owner can prove a negative -- that the money or property was not involved in illegal activity. Because Commonwealth law enforcement agencies get to keep up to 90% of the money and property forfeited this way, the current scheme is ripe for abuse.

Right Way Forward Virginia, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Right Way Forward Virginia, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, libertarian grassroots advocacy organization, strongly supports this bill. Virginia's abusive asset forfeiture laws enable police and prosecutors to seize someone's property without
ever even charging them with a crime. In fact, the libertarian Institute for Justice rated Virginia's laws as among the worst in the country. H.B. 1287/S.B. 684 would be an important first step to protect property rights and due process and end asset forfeiture abuse in Virginia by requiring a criminal conviction.

M. Stewart writes:

Innocent until proven guilty is the way it is supposed to be.