Newsbrief: No Asset Forfeiture for Misdemeanor Drug Charges, Tennessee Says 10/8/04

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/357/tennessee.shtml

For years, Tennessee law enforcement officers routinely seized the vehicles and other property of people possessing even small amounts of drugs. But a July 9 opinion by Attorney General Paul Summers has put a stop to that practice, and the law enforcement establishment is grumbling, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported.

In his July opinion, Summers found that "the mere presence of a misdemeanor amount of a controlled substance cannot trigger the seizure of a vehicle," nor can a forfeiture action start with "simple possession of a small amount of drugs or drug paraphernalia."

That opinion prompted Joe Bartlett, the attorney who runs the asset forfeiture program for the state Department of Safety, to complain to the News-Sentinel that it would cause an increase in low-level drug use. "I think we're going the wrong way," Bartlett said. "You're going to see a lot more use of misdemeanor amounts because their property won't be at risk."

While some big city police departments said the ban on seizing vehicles for misdemeanor drug cases would not make much difference because most of their seizures came in felony cases, one small town law man said the move would result in lesser drug fund revenues for small departments. "That's going to definitely cut into it quite a bit," said Alcoa Assistant Police Chief Ken Beeler.

One defense attorney contacted by the News-Sentinel said he feared law enforcement would try to get around the ban by charging people with felonies when they previously would have charged them with misdemeanors. "They could charge it as a felony and let everyone sort it out when they get to court," Ken Irvine said. But by then, he added, the property could have already been forfeited in a civil procedure.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #357, 10/8/04 Editorial: A Tragedy in the Capital | Medical Marijuana Activists Besiege HHS, Demand Rescheduling | Drug Policy and the Presidential Election -- Introduction | The Election I: Bush and Kerry on Drugs: Past Records and Platform Planks | The Election II: Drug Reformers on Kerry and Bush, Nader and Badnarik | The Election III: DRCNet Interview: Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader | The Election IV: DRCNet Interview: Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate (repeat) | Newsbrief: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Critical Federal Sentencing Cases | Newsbrief: Needle Exchange Bill Passes New Jersey Assembly | Newsbrief: Protests Rise over Award as Thai Prime Minister Prepares for New Round of Drug War | Newsbrief: Bolivia's Chapare Cocaleros Sign Historic Agreement with Government | Newsbrief: DEA Pulls Prescription Pain Medicine FAQs Without Explanation | Newsbrief: Hemp Crops in Western Australia Stymied By Licensing Requirements | Newsbrief: Atlanta Cops Use Forfeited Funds to Buy Bigger Guns | Newsbrief: No Asset Forfeiture for Misdemeanor Drug Charges, Tennessee Says | Newsbrief: Texas DA Says Doctors Must Turn In Drug-Using Pregnant Women | Newsbrief: Another Killer Cop Walks Free | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | This Week in History | Administrative Assistant: Part-Time Job Opportunity at DRCNet | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]