Civil asset forfeiture in criminal cases is a device used to stop organized crime that allows the government to take the property of people convicted of certain crimes. An individual facing civil asset forfeiture may also face criminal asset forfeiture.
Criminal asset forfeiture involves a state taking the personal property of someone convicted of a crime such as drug trafficking if that property is connected to the crime. For example, a person convicted of making drugs in their home faces a governmental seizure of said home.
No. The government can take property which meets one or both criteria:
In the first category, a car may be seized by the government if it was used to transport drugs. In the second category, a business could be taken if it was started with money from selling illegal weapons.
The government will look at a person’s property to determine if it meets the following requirements:
Double jeopardy prohibits a person from being tried more than once for a single crime after being found innocent the first time. Whether double jeopardy applies to a criminal forfeiture depends on the particular case. If a defendant was convicted and sentenced for a crime, criminal forfeiture may considered be double jeopardy.
However, civil asset forfeiture is not considered double jeopardy because it usually happens before the sentencing occurs.
Yes, forfeiture laws are technical and complicated. Seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney to understand more about the laws and how to possibly regain property.
Last Modified: 04-01-2018 11:00 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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