Download the law from New Mexico and send it to your state rep AND senator today
Opponents of the asset forfeiture process often call it “policing for profit.” They argue that the lure of asset forfeiture money incentivizes police to direct manpower and resources toward actions that promise a payoff instead of focusing on other priorities that directly impact the safety of the community.
Reforms are essential to address this situation. But states also need to be aware of a federal loophole police will crawl through if not pulled shut. Any reform of asset forfeiture on a state level also needs to include provisions that stop state and local law enforcement from turning cases over to the federal government, circumventing any restrictions placed on asset forfeiture by the state.
This very scenario plays out frequently in states with strong asset forfeiture laws like California (learn more here). Police simply avoid restrictions on the revenue they can collect by turning cases involving seized assets over to the feds. In return, state and local agencies get up to 80 percent of the proceeds back through the Federal Equitable Sharing Program.
Legislation signed into law in New Mexico serves as an excellent template for other states, as it restricts state action and also closes the federal equitable sharing loophole.