The Union County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit enforces the forfeiture laws in the State of New Jersey that allow for law enforcement to maintain custody of certain property that has been seized from a criminal defendant. Examples of such items include contraband such as controlled dangerous substances; firearms that have been unlawfully acquired, possessed, or used; and any illegally possessed gambling device. In addition, the State can bring forfeiture proceedings against properties that constitute the proceeds of unlawful activity or any properties that were used or intended to be used in furtherance of unlawful activity (or properties that have become an integral part of unlawful activity). The purpose of these laws is to deprive defendants of the proceeds of their unlawful activities and to act as a deterrent in preventing similar activity in the future.
Municipal law enforcement agencies work jointly with members of the Unit with regard to the investigation of assets obtained as a result of criminal activity and coordinate seizures of such property with the Prosecutor’s Office. The Unit also coordinates its activities and interacts with other State and Federal law enforcement agencies.