RD15 - Forfeited Asset Sharing Program Annual Report FY2020

Executive Summary:

COVID-19 Effects

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. As a result, courts and administrative offices across the state closed. This had an adverse effect on administration of courts and court cases, including asset forfeiture. Distributions from the Forfeited Asset Sharing Program to local law enforcement agencies decreased significantly during the fourth quarter of FY2020.

FY2020 Disbursements to local law enforcement agencies: $5,056,405.42
FY2019 Disbursements to local law enforcement agencies: $5,769,820.35

The fourth quarter of FY2020 was 56.5% of the third quarter disbursements ($1,054,042/$1,864,218).

Criminal Charge Collection

Effective July 1, 2018, Code of Virginia §19.2-386.14 requires the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to collect additional information from local law enforcement agencies participating in the Forfeited Asset Sharing Program. This additional information includes: (i) the offense on which the forfeiture is based listed in the information filed pursuantto § 19.2-386.1, (ii) any criminal charge brought against the owner of the forfeited asset, and (iii) if a criminal charge was brought against the owner of the forfeited asset, the status of the charge, including whether the charge is pending or resulted in a conviction. In order to collect this additional information, the DCJS Computer Services section conceived and implemented a new database to collect the required criminal charge and criminal charge status information for every asset forfeited. In addition, at the time the seizure is reported, agencies now report the basis for the seizure(s). This information is included in the following report and appendices.