Innocent owner defense

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An innocent owner defense is a concept in United States law providing for an affirmative defense that applies when an owner claims that they are innocent of a crime and therefore their property should not be forfeited. It is defined in section 983(d) of title 18 of the United States Code (18 U.S.C. § 983(d)) and is part of the Code that defines forfeiture laws and more specifically the general rules for civil forfeiture proceedings. It states that the "claimant shall have the burden of proving that the claimant is an innocent owner by a preponderance of the evidence".

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