Bill Text: TX SB247 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to criminal asset forfeiture proceedings.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-07 - Referred to Criminal Justice [SB247 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB247-Introduced.html
  86R650 AJZ-D
 
  By: Hinojosa S.B. No. 247
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to criminal asset forfeiture proceedings.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 59.021(d), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (d)  After seizure of the substitute property, the
  disposition shall proceed as other cases in this chapter except
  that the attorney representing the state must prove by clear and
  convincing [a preponderance of the] evidence:
               (1)  that the contraband described by Subsection (b)
  was subject to seizure and forfeiture under this chapter;
               (2)  the highest fair market value of that contraband
  during the period in which the owner of the substitute property
  owned, or had an interest in, the contraband;
               (3)  the fair market value of the substitute property
  at the time it was seized; and
               (4)  that the owner of the substitute property owned or
  had an interest in contraband with an aggregate value of $200,000 or
  more in connection with the commission of an underlying offense
  giving rise to the forfeiture.
         SECTION 2.  Article 59.05(b), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  All cases under this chapter shall proceed to trial in
  the same manner as in other civil cases. The state has the burden of
  proving by clear and convincing [a preponderance of the] evidence
  that property is subject to forfeiture.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 59, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Articles 59.15 and 59.16 to read as follows:
         Art. 59.15.  TRANSFER OF FORFEITABLE PROPERTY TO FEDERAL
  GOVERNMENT.  A law enforcement agency or attorney representing the
  state may not directly or indirectly transfer seized property to
  any federal law enforcement authority or other federal agency and
  may not coordinate with the authority or agency regarding seized
  property unless:
               (1)  the value of the seized property exceeds $50,000,
  excluding the value of any controlled substance; and
               (2)  the attorney representing the state determines
  that:
                     (A)  the activity giving rise to the applicable
  investigation or seizure is interstate in nature and sufficiently
  complex to justify the transfer; or
                     (B)  the seized property may only be forfeited
  under federal law.
         Art. 59.16.  COOPERATION IN FEDERAL FORFEITURE ACTION. A
  law enforcement agency or the Texas National Guard, when operating
  in a nonmilitary role, may not participate, assist, or cooperate in
  a forfeiture action brought by the federal government unless the
  value of the seized property subject to forfeiture exceeds $50,000,
  excluding the value of any controlled substance.
         SECTION 4.  Section 12.1106(d), Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (d)  The court shall order the seized property:
               (1)  forfeited to the department if the court
  determines by clear and convincing [a preponderance of the]
  evidence that:
                     (A)  the seized property is contraband and a
  person pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, was convicted of, or
  was placed on deferred adjudication for:
                           (i)  an offense under Section 66.006,
  Section 66.2011, or Subchapter G, Chapter 43, of this code; or
                           (ii)  a second or subsequent offense under
  Section 61.022, 62.003, 62.004, or 62.005 of this code; or
                     (B)  the seized property is contraband and no
  person was arrested for an offense immediately after the warden or
  officer seized the property; or
               (2)  released to the owner if:
                     (A)  the person charged with an offense under
  Section 66.006, Section 66.2011, or Subchapter G, Chapter 43, of
  this code or a second or subsequent offense under Section 61.022,
  62.003, 62.004, or 62.005 of this code is acquitted or the charge is
  dismissed; or
                     (B)  the court determines that the seized property
  is not contraband.
         SECTION 5.  (a)  Articles 59.15 and 59.16, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, as added by this Act, apply only to property seized on or
  after the effective date of this Act. Property seized before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the property was seized, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         (b)  Articles 59.021 and 59.05, Code of Criminal Procedure,
  and Section 12.1106, Parks and Wildlife Code, as amended by this
  Act, apply only to a forfeiture proceeding that begins on or after
  the effective date of this Act. A forfeiture proceeding that begins
  before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in
  effect on the date the proceeding begins, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 6.   This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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