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The term seize means to capture or take possession of, with legal authority, property or a person. One of the greatest freedoms protected by the US Constitution is the right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment protects a person’s privacy by limiting law enforcement agents’ power of search and seizure. Generally, this means that they can’t search you or your home or seize your personal property without having a good reason for doing so. And, unless some specific exception applies, they have to have a warrant before they make a search or seizure.

In 2012, following a UK criminal prosecution, the wife of a jailed Nottinghamshire drugs baron lost the family home after a High Court judge ruled that she knew of her husband’s illegal activities, but chose to ignore them. The Crown Prosecution Service used a confiscation order to seize John Dawes’ assets after he was convicted of drug dealing and money laundering.