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Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

In general, you needn’t be found guilty to have your assets claimed by law enforcement; in some states, suspicion on a par with “probable cause” is sufficient. Nor must you be charged with a crime, or even be accused of one. Unlike criminal forfeiture, which requires that a person be convicted of an offense before his or her property is confiscated, civil forfeiture amounts to a lawsuit filed directly against a possession, regardless of its owner’s guilt or innocence.

In a jarring report about civil forfeiture, under which an American who hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing can be stripped of their homes and possessions, The New Yorker’s Sarah Stillman peaks into the widely used practice that is stripping Americans of their civil liberties.