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.
by: Janet Portman
Proof & Defenses in Criminal Cases
Getting a Lawyer for your Criminal Case
Steps in a Criminal Defense Case
Arraignment: Your First Court Appearance
Plea Bargains (Deals) in a Criminal Case
Legal Elements of Common Crimes
Expungement & Criminal Records
Should I just plead guilty and avoid a trial?
Is the public defender a real lawyer?
Can I change defense lawyers after I've hired one?
How long after arrest do I find out what the charges are?
Does it matter whether a suspect is given the Miranda warning?
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