Wisconsin Statutes Controlled Substances (Ch. 961) § 961.55. Forfeitures

(1) The following are subject to forfeiture:

(a) All controlled substances or controlled substance analogs which have been manufactured, delivered, distributed, dispensed or acquired in violation of this chapter.

(b) All raw materials, products and equipment of any kind which are used, or intended for use, in manufacturing, compounding, processing, delivering, distributing, importing or exporting any controlled substance or controlled substance analog in violation of this chapter.

(c) All property which is used, or intended for use, as a container for property described in pars. (a) and (b).

(d) All vehicles which are used, or intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, for the purpose of sale or receipt of property described in pars. (a) and (b) or for the purpose of transporting any property or weapon used or to be used or received in the commission of any felony under this chapter, but:

1. No vehicle used by any person as a common carrier in the transaction of business as a common carrier is subject to forfeiture under this section unless it appears that the owner or other person in charge of the vehicle is a consenting party or privy to a violation of this chapter;

2. No vehicle is subject to forfeiture under this section by reason of any act or omission established by the owner thereof to have been committed or omitted without the owner's knowledge or consent.  This subdivision does not apply to any vehicle owned by a person who is under 16 years of age on the date that the vehicle is used, or is intended for use, in the manner described under par. (d)(intro.), unless the court determines that the owner is an innocent bona fide owner;

3. A vehicle is not subject to forfeiture for a violation of s. 961.41(3g)(b) to (g) ;  and

4. If forfeiture of a vehicle encumbered by a bona fide perfected security interest occurs, the holder of the security interest shall be paid from the proceeds of the forfeiture if the security interest was perfected prior to the date of the commission of the felony which forms the basis for the forfeiture and he or she neither had knowledge of nor consented to the act or omission.

(e) All books, records, and research products and materials, including formulas, microfilm, tapes and data, which are used, or intended for use, in violation of this chapter.

(f) All property, real or personal, including money, directly or indirectly derived from or realized through the commission of any crime under this chapter.

(g) Any drug paraphernalia, as defined in s. 961.571 , used in violation of this chapter.

(h) Any masking agent, as defined in s. 961.69(1) , used in violation of this chapter.

(2) Property subject to forfeiture under this chapter may be seized by any officer or employee designated in s. 961.51(1) or (2) or a law enforcement officer upon process issued by any court of record having jurisdiction over the property.  Seizure without process may be made if:

(a) The seizure is incident to an arrest or a search under a search warrant or an inspection under an administrative inspection warrant;

(b) The property subject to seizure has been the subject of a prior judgment in favor of the state in a criminal injunction or forfeiture proceeding based upon this chapter;

(c) The officer or employee or a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the property is directly or indirectly dangerous to health or safety;  or

(d) The officer or employee or a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the property was used or is intended to be used in violation of this chapter, that the property was derived from or realized through a crime under this chapter or that the property is a vehicle which was used as described in sub. (1)(d).

(3) In the event of seizure under sub. (2), proceedings under sub. (4) shall be instituted promptly.  All dispositions and forfeitures under this section and ss. 961.555 and 961.56 shall be made with due provision for the rights of innocent persons under sub. (1)(d) 1., 2. and 4.  Any property seized but not forfeited shall be returned to its rightful owner.  Any person claiming the right to possession of property seized may apply for its return to the circuit court for the county in which the property was seized.  The court shall order such notice as it deems adequate to be given the district attorney and all persons who have or may have an interest in the property and shall hold a hearing to hear all claims to its true ownership.  If the right to possession is proved to the court's satisfaction, it shall order the property returned if:

(a) The property is not needed as evidence or, if needed, satisfactory arrangements can be made for its return for subsequent use as evidence;  or

(b) All proceedings in which it might be required have been completed.

(4) Property taken or detained under this section shall not be subject to replevin, but is deemed to be in the custody of the sheriff of the county in which the seizure was made subject only to the orders and decrees of the court having jurisdiction over the forfeiture proceedings.  When property is seized under this chapter, the person seizing the property may:

(a) Place the property under seal;

(b) Remove the property to a place designated by it;  or

(c) Require the sheriff of the county in which the seizure was made to take custody of the property and remove it to an appropriate location for disposition in accordance with law.

(5) When property is forfeited under this chapter, the agency whose officer or employee seized the property shall do one of the following:

(a) Retain it for official use.

(b) Sell that which is not required to be destroyed by law and which is not harmful to the public.  The agency may use 50 percent of the amount received for payment of forfeiture expenses.  The remainder shall be deposited in the school fund as proceeds of the forfeiture.  In this paragraph, “forfeiture expenses” include all proper expenses of the proceedings for forfeiture and sale, including expenses of seizure, maintenance of custody, advertising, and court costs and the costs of investigation and prosecution reasonably incurred.

(c) Require the sheriff of the county in which the property was seized to take custody of the property and remove it for disposition in accordance with law.

(d) Forward it to the bureau for disposition.

(e) If the property forfeited is money, retain the sum of all of the following for payment of forfeiture expenses, as defined in par. (b), and deposit the remainder in the school fund:

1. If the amount of money does not exceed $2,000, 70 percent of that amount.

2. Fifty percent of any amount seized in excess of $2,000.

(6) Controlled substances included in schedule I and controlled substance analogs of controlled substances included in schedule I that are possessed, transferred, sold, offered for sale or attempted to be possessed in violation of this chapter are contraband and shall be seized and summarily forfeited to the state.  Controlled substances included in schedule I and controlled substance analogs of controlled substances included in schedule I that are seized or come into the possession of the state, the owners of which are unknown, are contraband and shall be summarily forfeited to the state.

(6m) Flunitrazepam or ketamine that is possessed, transferred, sold, offered for sale or attempted to be possessed in violation of this chapter is contraband and shall be seized and summarily forfeited to the state.  Flunitrazepam or ketamine that is seized or comes into the possession of the state, the owner of which is unknown, is contraband and shall be summarily forfeited to the state.

(7) Species of plants from which controlled substances in schedules I and II may be derived which have been planted or cultivated in violation of this chapter, or of which the owners or cultivators are unknown, or which are wild growths, may be seized and summarily forfeited to the state.

(8) The failure, upon demand by any officer or employee designated in s. 961.51(1) or (2), of the person in occupancy or in control of land or premises upon which the species of plants are growing or being stored, to produce any of the following constitutes authority for the seizure and forfeiture of the plants described in sub. (7):

(a) An appropriate federal registration, or proof that the person is the holder thereof.

(b) Proof that the person is growing or storing the plants in accordance with the requirements, if any, imposed by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection under s. 94.55 .

(9) If a crop intended to be industrial hemp, as defined in s. 94.55(1) , is tested for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol levels and the average concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in a whole dry plant is found to exceed 0.7 percent above the permissible limit for industrial hemp, the entire crop on the field where the plant was found shall be seized and destroyed.  Before a crop is seized and destroyed under this subsection, the agency whose officers or employees intend to seize and destroy the crop shall provide, to the person licensed under s. 94.55(3) to grow the crop or to the person's agent or employee, written documentation verifying the test results for the crop that is subject to seizure and destruction.


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