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02-23-09, 08:53 PM #1
Looking for a prostitute? Bill would allow police to seize your car
OLYMPIA — Communities across the state may soon see new signs popping up along busy highways and streets — a warning that the car of anyone arrested on prostitution-related charges could be seized by police.
The state Legislature is debating yet another proposal that would allow police to impound vehicles in prostitution cases. A bill last year called for seizing such cars and selling them to help fund police operations. It failed in the House.
This year, two identical bills in the House and Senate call for impounding the cars of people arrested in connection with soliciting, patronizing or promoting prostitution within neighborhoods designated as prostitution-heavy zones. Cities would map out these zones and post warning signs before the impoundments could begin.
The cars, however, would be returned to their owners once towing and impound fees were paid. Those acquitted of the charges would get their fees refunded.
Under current law, people with a previous conviction for patronizing prostitution or commercial sexual abuse of a minor could see their vehicles impounded if arrested in a new prostitution-related crime.
The proposed law would expand the crimes that would qualify for a vehicle impound. It also would add a provision stating that cars of suspects with no previous conviction could be impounded in the event of arrests within a designated prostitution zone.
"Our vision, the [police] chiefs' in this area, is to have a parking lot full of [impounded] cars that we can take a picture of to tell people, 'Don't come here. This is not OK here,' " said Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan.
Strachan, who testified in support of the Senate bill on Friday, said Kent has long had a problem with prostitution along Pacific Highway South. He said that if the bill passes, the department would work closely with community groups to create signs intended to deter prostitution.
"We want to be direct without creating negativity in the neighborhood," he said. "People who live along the highway deserve better."
Seattle police say they arrest about 200 people each year on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. Seattle police, the King County Sheriff's Office and Spokane police support the vehicle-impound proposal.
Both bills call for collecting a $500 fee from those arrested. The money would go into a state account that helps prostitutes get treatment and other services they need.
That fee also would be refunded to those acquitted or in cases when charges were dropped.
Cities across the country have enacted laws allowing police to impound vehicles tied to prostitution. The American Civil Liberties Union has fought such measures on constitutional grounds, and it opposed the Senate bill on Friday.
The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has opposed automobile-forfeiture provisions, but it isn't taking a position on the current legislation in Olympia, said Executive Director Teresa Mathis.
The House bill, HB 1362, has passed through the Judiciary Committee. The Senate bill, SB 5934, was heard Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
02-23-09, 09:13 PM #2
I'm all about siezures for DWI's, but prostitution? Nah...
A good sized picture in the paper of the offender (with the conviction info) should be enough of a deterrent, imho.
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That from the nunnery
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To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
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02-23-09, 09:24 PM #3
+1 CB....Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr
02-23-09, 09:27 PM #4
next time a night on the town, I'll have to use the wife's car
We don't have much of that around here, and what they do have well, yucky
02-23-09, 09:31 PM #5
02-23-09, 09:39 PM #6
Eh, that's pushing it. What if they are caught performing the lewd acts IN the car?Thomas
"If you find yourself in a fair fight... your tactics SUCK!"
02-23-09, 09:44 PM #7
We've been doing it for years. Always interesting when it's a government car.
02-24-09, 12:36 AM #8
For a moment based on the title I thought it was about Bill Clinton. But then I realized he was unlikely to support a bill like this.
02-24-09, 05:51 AM #9
Clearly another way for the legislatures to try and find away to take other people's property legally. When will they learn? You want our money? Then legalize the damn thing and tax the hell out of it."If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
02-24-09, 09:21 AM #10
You know how some jurisdictions put the words "Seized From a Drug Dealer" on the seized vehicles they use? What would you put on a prostitution seized vehicle? "This car used to belong to a John"? "Hookermobile"?
I think taking the car is going a little far.*************************"It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...to another life somewhere in the sun."*************************"There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)
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02-24-09, 10:26 AM #11
I think they do that in Detroit - at least they did at one point. Additionally, they had "Johns TV" on a local channel once a month or so where they'd show the arrestee and tell his story.
02-24-09, 10:35 AM #12
That's ridiculous. Any man that tells you he's never paid for sex has never had sex."If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
02-24-09, 11:30 AM #13
02-24-09, 12:54 PM #14
True, RDS. Which may give one pause in appreciation for the directness of the prostitute-customer relationship. At least there's no BS pretense. You both know what you're there for."If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
02-24-09, 01:52 PM #15
And here, once they moved out of the ghetto into other business neighborhoods, crime went up, syringes were found laying around, etc.
If some dipshit wants to call an escort service (who are nothing more than street whores with cell phones) and meet them in a motel room or their home, I couldn't care less. But I also have no problem spanking the asshole out there cruising other peoples' neighborhoods.
We seize the cars and then return them. It gives them a chance to explain to Mama where the car is. And in some case, employers. We've cinched up more than a few local, state and federal government cars in stings too.
02-24-09, 02:18 PM #16
I don't see anything wrong with towing the car incident to arrest, doing a searc... eh, I mean inventory... and returning it later for impound fees.
However, I do see a LOT wrong with permanent seizures in cases like this. I also see a lot wrong with permanent seizure of vehicles in drug cases, unless a guilty verdict is handed down.
Seems like I read somewhere that the Feds were seizing cars without due process at one time, but I don't know if that practice is continuing - Surely some court somewhere has put a stop to that nonsense by now.
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02-24-09, 02:40 PM #17
02-24-09, 03:01 PM #18
Washington again, sigh.
Seizing cars will not eliminate the problem. Neither will legalization.
We simply do not have the framework here to run herd on licensing sex workers.
Anyone who tells you that "street" prostitution should be legal has never seen it. Any LEO who says as much has never worked the street in an area where it is prevalent. Street prostitution is very different from houses, and is NOT a victimless crime.
The only legalization method that seems to work anywhere is the houses in Nevada, and only because there is a licensing and houses. That has to happen first.I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
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I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
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02-24-09, 03:37 PM #19
02-24-09, 03:41 PM #20
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