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Forfeiture is similar to restitution or fines in that the defendant suffers money damages as a result of criminal conviction. However, forfeiture attaches to the object itself (money, boat, car, stereo) and is seen as a punishment for violation of the law. Forfeiture is a popular tool for federal prosecutors in RICO cases (Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act) and the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Law.[1] Forfeitures that are disproportionate may be subject to challenge under the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eight Amendment to the United States Constitution. [2]

See Sentencing


  1. 21 U.S.C. Section 881
  2. Austin v. United States 113 S.Ct. 2801 (1993)