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November 2017 Archives

Can the police seek forfeiture of all of my assets if I'm involved in criminal activity?

Answer:, No, they cannot.  In the past, the police or prosecutors could seek to forfeit almost any of a defendant's assets if he or she were involved in criminal activity (homes, cars, boats, etc.)  But in June of 2017, the Supreme Court (Honeycutt v. U.S.) ruled that forfeiture is limited to property the defendant himself actually acquired as the result of criminal activity.  Forfeiture is now limited to property flowing from, or used in, the crime itself.  In other words, the police cannot try to forfeit untainted property - it must be tied to the crime itself.  This is good news - if one has property that was not a part of criminal activity, it cannot be seized.  This important decision put the brakes on the "anything and everything" type of forfeiture proceedings and will no longer allow police departments nationwide to enrich themselves with a defendant's property that has nothing to do with criminal activity.  

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