While much of the progress on criminal justice reform has stalled in recent months, there has been quite a bit of progress on civil asset forfeiture. Several states have continued to put curbs on abuses. New Mexico, Montana and New Hampshire recently passed laws requiring a conviction before property can be forfeited. (Although at least in New Mexico, police agencies appear to be straight-up ignoring the law.)
But law enforcement agencies aren’t giving up the lucrative (for them) practice without a fight. The most common form of property seized is cash. In fact, carrying large amounts of cash is now in and of itself viewed as suspicion of criminal activity. People who still do carry a lot of cash today have as much to fear from law enforcement as they do from criminals, particularly if they’re planning to fly or drive on a highway that passes through a “forfeiture corridor.”
The police theory has been that because most criminals work with cash (probably true), most people carrying a lot of cash are probably criminals (probably not true). Don’t want to be under suspicion? Don’t carry cash.