Forfeiture of property used in connection with the commission of crimes; conviction required. (SB684)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson) with support from co-patron Sen. Toddy Puller (D-Mount Vernon)


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


10/21/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15100578D
10/21/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/21/2015Committee substitute printed to Web only 15103728D-S1
01/21/2015Passed by indefinitely in Courts of Justice with letter (12-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB1287.


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.