NACDL - Applying the Brakes on a Runaway Train: Forfeiture and Recent Supreme Court Developments

Applying the Brakes on a Runaway Train: Forfeiture and Recent Supreme Court Developments

The dictionary defines “forfeiture” as the loss of property or money due to the breach of a legal obligation. This is the part of a client’s sentencing that turns some criminal defense attorneys into frightened first-year law students. Many inform the client to “let the property go” or to retain someone later to deal with the issue. Steven L. Kessler discusses some of the basics every attorney should know about forfeiture. He also examines the recent Supreme Court decision in Honeycutt v. United States and its possible ramifications.