|Marijuana Forfeiture |
Grow a Garden and Lose Your Home - Not So Fast Says Florida Court - Excessive Fine
Facts of the Case
A Florida man was charged with manufacture and sale of marijuana from a home. The homeowner negotiated a plea that included no prison, no jail, and had no forfeiture provisions in the agreed-upon disposition. The court also required 100 hours of community service. The city where the home was located decided to take the house anyway. Under many state and federal drug prosecutions the forfeiture of assets is addressed in negotiations with prosecutors or by juries in the criminal case. The home was worth nearly $300,000.00. The maximum fine in the case was $37,000.00. The plea agreement imposed no fine. You can get all the facts on this forfeiture case here by reading the Court ruling .
State charges, state and federal plea agreements, and federal indictments can contain forfeiture provisions that read like this: Upon conviction for any of the allegations alleged in the indictment, punishable by more than one year, the defendant shall forfeit to the government any and all interest in property constituting or derived from any proceeds the defendant obtained directly or indirectly as a result of; and property used or intended to be used in any manner to commit or facilitate the commission of such violations.
Excerpts from Florida Court Opinion
"Florida’s forfeiture provision also has a clear focus on the culpability of the owner (by providing an “innocent owner” exception), and because the legislature made an express finding that the Act serves to deter and to punish, it is also subject to the excessive fines limitation."
"no case has been cited in which an appellate court has approved a forfeiture in excess of six times the maximum fine. We decline to be the first. Accordingly, we find the forfeiture in this case violates the Excessive Fine provision"
Previous Forfeiture Coverage
Rating: 4.9 - Review by Google+Sep 7, 2014 - Cops and communities have a new contest - let's see how much stuff we can take from citizens using civil forfeiture, even though they are not ...
Rating: 4.9 - Review by Google+New Ruling: Court erred when it summarily denied defendant's motion for adversarial preliminary hearing under Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act by making ...
Rating: 4.9 - Review by Google+Forfeiture Defined Under Florida and Federal Law: forfeiture is used in a variety of cases in Florida's legal system both in State and United States District Court.