Many people are familiar with criminal forfeitures, but have not heard of civil forfeitures. Civil forfeitures are used to seize people’s assets without the necessity of an arrest or finding of guilt. Quite often the civil forfeiture process provides no due process protections.
Recently the New Yorker did a great job of covering this controversial topic. Its article, The Cops Can Take Away Your Cash, Car, Or House — Even If You’re Never Convicted Of A Crime, brings you up to speed on this lucrative practice. If you are a victim of civil forfeiture you have rights and should seek the assistance of a lawyer (outside the county engaged in the civil forfeiture).