Overview of Civil Asset Forfeiture

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that allows law enforcement to take private property used or intended to be used in committing certain crimes. The goal of civil asset forfeiture is to deprive criminal organizations of access to certain tools that they need to commit crimes, such as the money used to fund crime. Another goal is to discourage future crimes by taking away the profits from those crimes. However, civil asset forfeiture is sometimes used to take property from innocent property owners, serving no purpose but to benefit law enforcement. Visit our Video Library to watch videos about civil asset forfeiture in general and the court process.

This guide is not meant to provide legal advice, either specific or general. For legal advice, you should consult a lawyer. Legal aid or the Texas State Bar may be able to help you find a lawyer for your civil asset forfeiture case. There is no guarantee that using the information in this guide will result in you winning your case, but it may be able to help.