Criminal Forfeiture

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CRIMINAL FORFEITURE

The loss of a criminal defendant's rights to property which is confiscated by the government when the property was used in the commission of a crime. The seizure by law enforcement officers of an automobile used in the transportation of illegal narcotics is a criminal forfeiture.

Property that is subject to criminal forfeiture is taken from its owner without any compensation being made because of its use in illegal conduct. The taking of such property by the government is an exception to the principles of condemnation provided that the item is seized and retained as a result of the valid exercise of the police power of the state or pursuant to constitutional federal statutes.