Asset Forfeiture Procedures in Drug
and Criminal Investigation
Based on Federal Standards and Guidelines
Length of Seminar: 2 Days
Wall and/or Mark Parker
Introduction about asset forfeiture and what you
can achieve with it
Since September 11, 2001, asset forfeiture
cases have come to the fore front
in the Criminal Justice Field. America has become more
aware of illegal activities
of criminal organizations and the amount of money that
funds them around
the world. Police Chiefs, Sheriff’s and Administrators
alike have recognized
the need for successful asset forfeiture cases. Assets
vehicles, homes and U.S. Currency are being seized every
day and used within
departments to help fund the war on crime.
Asset forfeiture is an tool in the investigation
of an organization. Every
drug arrest could identify an organization.
As a Law Enforcement Professional, we need
a better understanding of Asset Forfeiture procedures in
order to dismantle the criminal organizations that
are possessing the assets that are being found on our streets
today. Asset forfeiture is a growth industry. Seizures
have increased from $27 million
in 1986 to over $644 million in 1991 to more than $2 billion
today. Civil forfeiture has become one of the greatest
tools we have to dismantle sophisticated
drug organizations throughout the world.
1. What is an asset? An asset can be anything
of value, property, homes, cars, boats and money.
2. Forfeiture is a term referring to the
of property because of an alleged crime.
Types of Forfeiture Procedures:
There are two types of forfeiture available to the Government: Civil Forfeiture
and Criminal Forfeiture. Civil Forfeiture is intended to confiscate property
used or acquired in violation of the law; a Criminal Forfeiture is imposed
on a wrongdoer as part of his/her punishment following a conviction. The
procedures involved in these two types of forfeiture are very different;
however, the results are the same, which is the transfer of rights, title
and interest of the property to the United States.
1. Criminal Forfeiture: The purpose of a criminal law
is to punish
the violator, and criminal forfeiture is imposed as part
of that punishment
following conviction. Criminal forfeiture is in personam or
against the individual and requires that the government
indict the property used
in or obtained with proceeds from the crime. Upon completion
of a criminal
trail, if the defendant is found guilty, criminal forfeiture
are conducted in the court before a judge. The proceedings
in a verdict forfeiting
the property used in the crime or obtained with proceeds
from the crime.
An ancillary hearing may be conducted for other parties
claiming an interest
in the forfeiture property.
2. Civil Forfeiture: The
purpose of civil forfeiture is
to confiscate property used in violation of the law and
to remove the illegally
gained profits from violators. Civil forfeitures
are in rem.
In rem refers to a legal action directed solely against
on a legal finding that the property itself is used in
an illegal manner.
An in rem proceeding is not an action
against a violator, but
against the property involved. In rem proceedings
are separate legal
actions from any criminal action taken
against the violator.