This is great news for advocates of civil asset forfeiture reform! In a unanimous opinion, SCOTUS incorporates the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause, which means it now applies to the states [1].

The next step in Virginia is to require a criminal conviction before your assets can be seized. Here in Virginia, police only needs ‘clear and convincing evidence’ of a crime before they can take your car. In 2016, Senator Petersen proposed an amendment to require a criminal conviction first before your car or other assets can be seized [2]. But my opponent Bryce Reeves voted against it and the amendment failed. [3]

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/us/politics/civil-asset-forfeiture-supreme-court.html

[2] https://lawreview.richmond.edu/2016/03/10/reform-virginias-civil-asset-forfeiture-laws-to-remove-the-profit-incentive-and-curtail-the-abuse-of-power/

[3] https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+vot+SV0398SB0457+SB0457