Is confiscating a defendant's car a type of fine?

Related Ads

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small


I heard about a defendant's car and boat being taken by the police. Was this a fine of some sort?


Technically, confiscation isn't a fine, though it might feel that way to the defendant. The defendant’s property was probably taken as part of a civil forfeiture proceeding, separate from the criminal case, in which the government takes property used as part of criminal activities. For example, cars used by people who hire prostitutes may be forfeited, and the land on which marijuana is grown can also be forfeited under federal law.
Civil forfeiture is not punishment, and therefore forfeiture proceedings do not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy (U.S. v. Ursery, U.S. Sup. Ct. 1996). In other words, a defendant can be convicted of the underlying crime and given the usual punishments, in addition to losing his car, boat, or land.


Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find criminal law lawyers near you.

how it works 1
Briefly tell us about your case
how it works 2
Provide your contact information
how it works 1
Connect with local attorneys
Related Ads