Confiscation And Forfeiture Of The Proceeds Or Instruments Of The Crime

ART. 45

1. Every penalty imposed carries with it the forfeiture of the proceeds of the crime and the instruments or tools used in the commission of the crime.

2. The proceeds and instruments/tools of the crime are confiscated in favor of the government.

3. The property of 3rd persons (not liable for the offense) is not subject to confiscation and forfeiture.

4. Property not subject of lawful commerce (whether it belongs to the accused or a 3rd person) shall be destroyed.


There cannot be confiscation or forfeiture unless there’s a criminal case filed, tried and accused is convicted.

Third person must be indicted to effect confiscation of his property.

Instruments of the crime belonging to an innocent 3rd person may be recovered.

Confiscation can be ordered only if the property is submitted in evidence or placed at the disposal of the court.

When the order of forfeiture has already become final, the articles which were forfeited can not be returned, even in case of an acquittal.

There must be conviction by final judgment. However, even if the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt, but the instruments or proceeds are contraband, the judgment of
acquittal shall order their forfeiture for appropriate disposition.

Confiscation & forfeiture are additional penalties. When the penalty imposed did not include the confiscation of the goods involved, the subsequent confiscation & forfeiture of said goods would be an additional penalty, amounting to an increase of the penalty already imposed, thereby placing the accused in double jeopardy. In case the accused appeals, confiscation and forfeiture not ordered by the trial court may be imposed by the appellate court.

The government can not appeal the modification of a sentence if the defendant did not appeal. But if the defendant appeals, it removes all bars to the review and correction of the penalty imposed by the court below, even if an increase thereof should be the result.

When Art. 45 cannot apply:
1. The instruments belong to innocent third parties
2. Such properties have not been placed under the jurisdiction of the court
3. When it is legally or physically impossible.