Code of the District of Columbia

§ 48–905.02. Forfeitures.

(a) The following property is subject to forfeiture if determined to be used in furtherance of or as proceeds of the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as prohibited by §  48-904.01(a): containers, conveyances, equipment, raw materials, real property, money, currency, securities, negotiable instruments, instrumentalities, books, records, and research products, including formulas and data.

(b) Contraband is not subject to forfeiture under this section, but may be seized and disposed of in accordance with applicable law; provided, that controlled substances shall be retained until the prosecutorial authority responsible for prosecuting a violation under this chapter certifies that such controlled substances are no longer needed as evidence.

(c) No property shall be subject to forfeiture for conduct involving only a violation of § 48-904.01(d).

(d) All seizures and forfeitures under this section shall follow the standards and procedures set forth in D.C. Law 20-278.


(Aug. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 4-29, § 502, 28 DCR 3081; Apr. 3, 1982, D.C. Law 4-96, § 2, 29 DCR 762; Sept. 29, 1988, D.C. Law 7-162, § 2, 35 DCR 5733; Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1901, Pub. L. 101-223, § 6; June 13, 1990, D.C. Law 8-138, § 2(d), 37 DCR 2638; Sept. 26, 1992, D.C. Law 9-155, § 2(a), 39 DCR 5679; Mar. 25, 1993, D.C. Law 9-253, § 3, 40 DCR 790; May 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-255, § 25, 41 DCR 5193; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-284, § 10(c), 46 DCR 1328; October 4, 2000, D.C. Law 13-160, § 403(b), 47 DCR 4619; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 9067(a), 58 DCR 6226; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 98(d), 59 DCR 6190; June 16, 2015, D.C. Law 20-278, § 201(b), 62 DCR 1920.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 33-552.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2507.06a, § 22-902, and § 22-2723.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-160 rewrote subsec. (b) which formerly provided: “(b) Property subject to forfeiture under this chapter may be seized by law enforcement officials, as designated by the Mayor, or designated civilian employees of the Metropolitan Police Department, upon process issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia having jurisdiction over the property, or without process if authorized by other law.”

D.C. Law 19-21 rewrote subsec. (d)(3)(B), which formerly read:

“(B) Any person claiming the property may, at any time within 30 days from the date of receipt of notice of seizure, file with the Mayor a claim stating his or her interest in the property. Upon the filing of a claim, the claimant shall give a bond to the District government in the penal sum of $2,500 or 10% of the fair market value of the claimed property (as appraised by the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department), whichever is lower, but not less than $250, with sureties to be approved by the Mayor. In case of forfeiture of the claimed property, the costs and expenses of the forfeiture proceedings shall be deducted from the bonds. Any costs that exceed the amount of the bond shall be paid by the claimant. In determining the fair market value of the property seized, the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department shall consider any verifiable and reasonable evidence of value that the claimant may present. The balance of the proceeds shall be transferred to the Drug Interdiction and Demand Reduction Fund (’Fund’) created by subchapter VII of this chapter. The Fund shall remain available until expended regardless of the expiration of the fiscal year in which the proceeds were collected. The Fund shall be distributed in the following descending order of priority:

“ (i) To fund law enforcement activities of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, except that, beginning October 1, 1990, not more than 49% of the total amount deposited to the Fund in the immediately preceding quarter-year period shall be used for this purpose in the next succeeding quarter-year period; and

“(ii) To provide grants to fund community-based drug education, prevention, and demand reduction programs;”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 validated a previously made technical correction.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-278 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 10(c) of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization and Street Solicitation for Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-428, August 6, 1998, 45 DCR 5884), § 10(c) of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-506, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 45 8139), and § 10(c) of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-13, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2333).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 10(c) of Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-282, May 28, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 5148).

References in Text

Section 23-527, referred to in subsec. (a-1), did not exist in the 1981 Edition at the time of the recodification into the 2001 Edition.

Editor's Notes

Mayor to implement public information program: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 48-901.02.

D.C. Law 20-278, referred to in (d), enacted Chapter 3 of Title 41 (§ 41-301 et seq.), made amendments to the criminal offenses in §§ 48-901.02 and 48-905.02, and made conforming amendments to §§ 7-2507.06a, 8-905, 22-902, 22-1705, 22-2723, 32-1343, 48-905.03, and 50-1501.04.