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Family Law

A Broadening Consensus to Narrow Asset Forfeiture

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in July that the federal government planned to again emphasize the pursuit of civil asset forfeitures, it raised issues for many, including the spouses and family members of those who are charged with committing federal crimes.

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Editor’s note: When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in July that the federal government planned to again emphasize the pursuit of civil asset forfeitures, it raised issues for many, including the spouses and family members of those who are charged with committing federal crimes. Why? Because if the federal (or state) government decides to pursue a criminal case against someone, it can often seize the alleged culprit’s property, even before conviction. For example, the federal government is authorized under 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7) to seize assets used to violate the federal Controlled Substances Act, including real estate.

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