Drug Forfeitures

Drug Forfeitures: Overview

Drug-related forfeitures of real property are usually accomplished under one of three federal statutes:


1.  The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 881)

2.  RICO  (18 U.S.C. 1963)

3.  The Criminal Forfeiture provisions of the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Chapter (21 U.S.C. 853) 


Because it is not necessarily tied to a criminal prosecution, forfeiture under the Controlled Substances Act is considered a civil forfeiture. The other two federal statutes provide for criminal forfeiture because a criminal conviction is a prerequisite to the forfeiture of the property. In addition, many states have enacted legislation providing for forfeiture of such property. State laws vary widely as to their effect on real property. For this reason, only a general treatment of issues that may arise under state law is possible within the confines of this manual. Questions about the statutes of specific states and their application should be directed to Agents National Title underwriting counsel.