Referencing this article, http://www.conventionofstates.com/feds_take_4_5_billion_worth_of_private_property, from the Convention of the States effort, which referenced the Washington Free Beacon as source.
Regarding civil asset forfeiture:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
First, keep in mind that the men who wrote these rights were worried that they would restrict our rights. Most felt it important to trust to logic and our better nature when it came to rights, the law, and the courts. The founders were trying to ensure as much rights to the people as possible, while not restricting the rights of the people. Our founders believed we were free in deed.
Note the key is security. Our constitution, our founding document, confirms our right to our own stuff, including our life, our person. Search and seizure requires sworn warrant.
Seldom do we hear of civil asset forfeiture that occurred with a duly issued warrant. That is simply un-American and obviously illegal per the Constitution.
Amendment XIV, Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Civil asset forfeiture laws abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States as protected by the Fourth Amendment. The civil asset forfeiture laws are un-American and obviously illegal per the Constitution.
Note that there can be no deprivation without due process of law. No deprivation!
It is un-American and obviously illegal per the Constitution to deprive anyone of anything until after due process has been completed.
This article indicates that in just 2014, in just that one year, the Fed, not to mention the states and municipal police forces, raked in $4.5 billion. Only 13% of that was attributed to criminal penalty. That is only 13% of the $4.5 deprived from citizens of the United States of America was taken after due process.
There is simply no excuse for civil asset forfeiture laws to exist at all.
There I no need to discuss the abuses, for obviously there are many, there is no need to discuss the conflict of interest, for the entire concept is un-American and obviously illegal per the Constitution.
Any sheriff or DA who supports civil asset forfeiture laws is simply un-American and antipatriotic.