21 USC Sec. 844a 01/05/2009
TITLE 21 - FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER 13 - DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
SUBCHAPTER I - CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT
Part D - Offenses and Penalties
Sec. 844a. Civil penalty for possession of small amounts of certain
(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.
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.
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.
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
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
(!1) So in original. Probably should be "section".