skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 136580 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Asset Forfeiture: In the War on Drugs, Is the Innocent Spouse the Loser?
Journal: Journal of Family Law  Volume:30  Issue:1  Dated:(1992)  Pages:135-153
Author(s): D Wilson
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 19
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In applying laws regarding drug asset forfeiture, courts must allow spouses to demonstrate their lack of knowledge or consent and not penalize innocent spouses who failed to inquire fully into every aspect of the guilty spouse's life.
Abstract: On the other hand, an innocent spouse should not defeat the government's valid interest because of State property laws. The specific changes needed include redefining the knowledge or consent standard, expanding the definition of property to include various equitable interests in forfeited real property, and clearly stating in the Federal laws that they supersede the property definitions in State laws. This approach would be more effective than other proposed solutions, because it would shield spouses who may have been merely negligent or who have refrained from action because of fears of retaliation. Thus, it would more accurately reflect the realities of marital life, would more adequately protect innocent spouses, and would provide a means for them to escape from marriages that drug abuse has strained. The need for such a solution is demonstrated by recent court cases involving civil forfeiture laws. Several recent cases have imposed a high burden on spouses who seek to avoid forfeiture of property. 116 footnotes
Main Term(s): Domestic relations; Drug forfeiture
Index Term(s): Marital problems
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.