line drawing in forfeitures 2

Competencies Addressed in This Discussion

  • Competency 3: Explain the substantive and procedural interpretations of individual freedoms based on case analysis.
  • Competency 5: Communicate effectively in writing.


The Eighth Amendment protections extend to the impositions of fines. That provision of the amendment applies to forfeitures, which is a process utilized frequently in departments. Often, a portion of forfeiture funds are reinvested in the criminal justice system, providing an incentive for departments to focus on securing forfeitures. Understanding substantive and procedural requirements is a must.

For this discussion, assume you are the state attorney general. You are pleased that a county in your state that borders Mexico has been extremely effective in the past year at reducing drug-related violent crime. When you spoke to the sheriff, you discovered that these reductions are because the number of deputies was doubled, electronic surveillance was increased, and the number of patrol cars was increased.

Wondering how this was accomplished without an increase in the budget, you find out that the police are stopping motorists routinely, asking if they are carrying cash, and then ordering them to sign over the cash or face felony charges for money laundering or other serious crimes. It was maintained that this is consistent with state asset forfeiture law, which allows the police to seize the profits of crime without a conviction. You are concerned about the measures taken from a substantive and procedural law standpoint. You decided to do some research to better understand the forfeiture requirements.

  1. Using research for your state in Nexis Uni, locate two cases that provide insight into substantive and procedural requirements for asset seizures. Apply the cases to the scenario to reach a conclusion about what has been taking place.
  2. Based on your findings, articulate how you would address what has been taking place in that jurisdiction.
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