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    21 USC Sec. 844a                                            01/05/2009


    Part D - Offenses and Penalties


    Sec. 844a. Civil penalty for possession of small amounts of certain
      controlled substances


    (a) In general
      Any individual who knowingly possesses a controlled substance
    that is listed in section 841(b)(1)(A) of this title in violation
    of section 844 of this title in an amount that, as specified by
    regulation of the Attorney General, is a personal use amount shall
    be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount not
    to exceed $10,000 for each such violation.
    (b) Income and net assets
      The income and net assets of an individual shall not be relevant
    to the determination whether to assess a civil penalty under this
    section or to prosecute the individual criminally. However, in
    determining the amount of a penalty under this section, the income
    and net assets of an individual shall be considered.
    (c) Prior conviction
      A civil penalty may not be assessed under this section if the
    individual previously was convicted of a Federal or State offense
    relating to a controlled substance.
    (d) Limitation on number of assessments
      A civil penalty may not be assessed on an individual under this
    section on more than two separate occasions.
    (e) Assessment
      A civil penalty under this section may be assessed by the
    Attorney General only by an order made on the record after
    opportunity for a hearing in accordance with section 554 of title
    5. The Attorney General shall provide written notice to the
    individual who is the subject of the proposed order informing the
    individual of the opportunity to receive such a hearing with
    respect to the proposed order. The hearing may be held only if the
    individual makes a request for the hearing before the expiration of
    the 30-day period beginning on the date such notice is issued.
    (f) Compromise
      The Attorney General may compromise, modify, or remit, with or
    without conditions, any civil penalty imposed under this section.
    (g) Judicial review
      If the Attorney General issues an order pursuant to subsection
    (e) of this section after a hearing described in such subsection,
    the individual who is the subject of the order may, before the
    expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date the order is
    issued, bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of
    the United States. In such action, the law and the facts of the
    violation and the assessment of the civil penalty shall be
    determined de novo, and shall include the right of a trial by jury,
    the right to counsel, and the right to confront witnesses. The
    facts of the violation shall be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
    (h) Civil action
      If an individual does not request a hearing pursuant to
    subsection (e) of this section and the Attorney General issues an
    order pursuant to such subsection, or if an individual does not
    under subsection (g) of this section seek judicial review of such
    an order, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in any
    appropriate district court of the United States for the purpose of
    recovering the amount assessed and an amount representing interest
    at a rate computed in accordance with section 1961 of title 28.
    Such interest shall accrue from the expiration of the 30-day period
    described in subsection (g) of this section. In such an action, the
    decision of the Attorney General to issue the order, and the amount
    of the penalty assessed by the Attorney General, shall not be
    subject to review.
    (i) Limitation
      The Attorney General may not under this subsection (!1) commence
    proceeding against an individual after the expiration of the 5-year
    period beginning on the date on which the individual allegedly
    violated subsection (a) of this section.
    (j) Expungement procedures
      The Attorney General shall dismiss the proceedings under this
    section against an individual upon application of such individual
    at any time after the expiration of 3 years if -
        (1) the individual has not previously been assessed a civil
      penalty under this section;
        (2) the individual has paid the assessment;
        (3) the individual has complied with any conditions imposed by
      the Attorney General;
        (4) the individual has not been convicted of a Federal or State
      offense relating to a controlled substance; and
        (5) the individual agrees to submit to a drug test, and such
      test shows the individual to be drug free.
    A nonpublic record of a disposition under this subsection shall be
    retained by the Department of Justice solely for the purpose of
    determining in any subsequent proceeding whether the person
    qualified for a civil penalty or expungement under this section. If
    a record is expunged under this subsection, an individual
    concerning whom such an expungement has been made shall not be held
    thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury,
    false swearing, or making a false statement by reason of his
    failure to recite or acknowledge a proceeding under this section or
    the results thereof in response to an inquiry made of him for any


    (Pub. L. 91-513, title II, Sec. 405, formerly Pub. L. 100-690,
    title VI, Sec. 6486, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4384, renumbered Sec.
    405 of Pub. L. 91-513, and amended Pub. L. 101-647, title X, Sec.
    1002(g)(1), (2), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4828.)


      A prior section 405 of Pub. L. 91-513 was renumbered section 418
    and is classified to section 859 of this title.
      1990 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 1002(g)(2)(A), made
    technical amendments to references to sections 841(b)(1)(A) and 844
    of this title to correct references to corresponding provisions of
    original act.
      Subsecs. (c), (j)(4). Pub. L. 101-647, Sec. 1002(g)(2)(B), (C),
    struck out "as defined in section 802 of this title" after
    "controlled substance".


    (!1) So in original. Probably should be "section".
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