Civil asset forfeiture is the seizure of property by local or state law enforcement if it is suspected that the property was used in committing a crime, even if the property owner was never charged or convicted of a crime. This practice is a popular way to raise revenue for law enforcement agencies; however, it has been the subject of widespread criticism and outcry for reform. Even small amounts of cash on a person do not escape seizure. If the property owner does not dispute the seizure in court - which is what happens in most cases - he will automatically lose the property. If one were to fight the seizure in court, it would result in costly litigation. Because the standard of proof to forfeit property in Texas is preponderance of the evidence, the burden is on the property owner to prove the property was not connected to criminal activity.
Philip Hilder was quoted regarding a civil forfeiture case involving the Mexican state of Veracruz and the state's now-jailed former governor, Javier Duarte Ochoa. Hilder & Associates handles both civil and criminal forfeiture cases.