Asset Forfeiture Report: South Carolina


 


 
Grades*
Forfeiture
Law Grade

State Law Evasion Grade

 Final
Grade
South Carolina

 

Forfeiture Law
South Carolina has dreadful civil forfeiture laws.  The government can forfeit property by demonstrating mere probable cause that the property is related to a crime and subject to forfeiture.  This is the lowest standard, the same one required for a search warrant, and far lower than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard required for a criminal conviction.  South Carolina law also considers property owners to be guilty until proven innocent, placing the burden on owners to prove they had no connection to an underlying crime to get their property back.  And law enforcement keeps 95 percent of the proceeds—75 percent goes directly to the law enforcement agency and 20 percent to prosecutors.  The remaining five percent goes to the state’s general fund.  Law enforcement and prosecutors are required to use the money to fight drug offenses.  Moreover, there is no requirement that the state collect data on forfeitures, so citizens do not know how the state’s powerful civil forfeitures laws are being used.



Press Releases and News

State Press Release

 

From the Report: Canine Sniffs Yield Unreliable Evidence for Forfeiture
 
   
   
     



 
 


 

 

Forfeitures as Reported to LEMAS (Drug-related only)

 

Total Assets
Forfeited

Assets Forfeited per
Law Enforcement Agency

1993

$10,233,388

$132,644

1997

$6,626,501

$28,927

2000

$5,263,571

$26,038

2003

$4,042,927

$23,292

 

Equitable Sharing Proceeds from the Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF)

 

Proceeds Returned to State

FY 2000

$1,298,766

FY 2001

$1,199,110

FY 2002

$3,641,683

FY 2003

$3,560,979

FY 2004

$4,893,591

FY 2005

$3,005,058

FY 2006

$4,414,456

FY 2007

$2,877,220

FY 2008

$4,761,356

Total

$29,652,219

Average per Year

$3,294,691

 

Freedom of Information Data
No Data Available; Not Required to Collect


*Learn how states were graded and how data was collected

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