Civil forfeiture is legal remedy that the State seeks against "guilty" property. That is, if the property has been involved in a crime it can generally be seized by the State and used for the State's purposes thereafter. They can seize drugs, money, weapons, vehicles, real estate, really the list is limitless. You can find the list in Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statues at Section 2-503.
Once the State has your stuff, they file a notice with a newspaper and if no one claims the stuff within 45 days then the property is forfeited and the State gets to keep it forever if they want. To contest the forfeiture any claimants have to file a verified claim within 45 days. Then the Court has a hearing and receives the evidence of the State and the claimant. In order to keep the property the State has to show that it was involved in criminal drug activity by a "preponderance of the evidence" (think 50% plus). If they can't do that then the property is returned to the owners.
They don't have to file a criminal case against anyone in order to seize property. You could easily be found not guilty of any crime and lose your property.
If you have been subjected to a civl forfeiture you need legal assistance. Call us at (405)601-9393. We are statewide with reasonable rates and excellent results.