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Training Options and CategoriesDrugs / Narcotics  << back

Asset Forfeiture Procedures in Drug and Criminal Investigation
Based on Federal Standards and Guidelines

Length of Seminar: 2 Days
Instructor: Carl Wall and/or Mark Parker

Course Overview:

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 including property, 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 government’s seizing 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.&nbsp; Upon completion of a criminal trail, if the defendant is found guilty, criminal forfeiture proceedings 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 property based 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.




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