Asset forfeiture cases are filed with the Civil Division when a law enforcement officer seizes property (which includes currency, vehicles, real estate, or personal property) from an individual who has used or intended to use that property to commit a criminal offense, or when the property is proceeds from a criminal offense or was acquired with proceeds from a criminal offense. The goal is to prevent criminals from being able to enjoy the fruits of their criminal activity and to deprive them of the means of committing future crimes.
Asset forfeiture cases, although arising out of a criminal offense, are civil in nature and governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. These cases involve filing an original petition, filing and answering discovery motions, preparing cases for trial, and disposing of the cases by settlement or trial. Asset forfeiture proceeds are shared by law enforcement agencies and the Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney's office, and they may then be used solely for law enforcement purposes.