When people in North Dakota are accused of committing a crime, there are many stressors that can cause them concern. Defending against the formal accusations, possible jail time and fines are just a few. This is true for white collar crimes as well as other types of incidents. One potential issue is civil forfeiture, where the state can take money and property that it believes has been involved in the commission of a crime.
Civil forfeiture can be a concern for those accused of white collar crimes. In such cases, if the state believes that money or property was used in the commitment of the crime, the property can be confiscated. Moreover, the government doesn't have to return it, even of a person is not found guilty in criminal court.
North Dakota is considered one of the worst states when it comes to civil forfeitures. One county reportedly took in over $35,000 last year. The seized amounts are used to fund some law enforcement programs. However, many argue that is unfair to take money and/or property from an accused before he or she is actually convicted of an offense. This argument is made on both state and federal levels, though recently the federal government has reverted to policies that encourage civil forfeiture.
The issues facing those who are charged with white collar crimes, and other types of crimes, are many. First on the mind of many in this situation is the need to defend against the formal charges. It may also be necessary to work to safeguard assets against civil forfeiture. In North Dakota, that often means coming up with sufficient proof that a particular piece of property was not used to commit a crime. In each instance, the advice of an experienced attorney may be invaluable to protect one's interests and pursue the best possible outcome.
Source: grandforksherald.com, "North Dakota among the worst in civil forfeiture, experts say", Andrew Hazzard, July 30, 2017