Normally we think that only people can be charged with crimes. That is generally true, but there is an odd wrinkle in the law that actually allows inanimate property to be charged with being involved in crimes. The law allows law enforcement to seize property that is involved in the potential commission of a crime, and that seizure does not have to abide by many constitutional measures.
What is Civil Forfeiture?
Initially used to fight the drug wars of the 80s, civil forfeiture laws allow law enforcement to seize property that is suspected of being involved in a crime, even if the owner of the property is not charged or convicted of a crime.