(a) When any property believed to be possessed, controlled, designed or intended for use or which is or has been used or which may be used as a means of committing any criminal offense, or which constitutes the proceeds of the commission of any criminal offense, except a violation of § 21a-267, 21a-277, 21a-278 or 21a-279, has been seized as a result of a lawful arrest or a lawful search that results in an arrest, which the state claims to be a nuisance and desires to have destroyed or disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this section, the Chief State’s Attorney or a deputy chief state’s attorney, state’s attorney or assistant or deputy assistant state’s attorney may petition the court not later than ninety days after the seizure, in the nature of a proceeding in rem, to order forfeiture of such property. Such proceeding shall be deemed a civil suit in equity, in which the state shall have the burden of proving all material facts by clear and convincing evidence. The court shall identify the owner of such property and any other person as appears to have an interest in such property, and order the state to give notice to such owner and any interested person by certified or registered mail.
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 54-33g
- another: may extend and be applied to communities, companies, corporations, public or private, limited liability companies, societies and associations. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
- Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
- Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
- Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
- Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
- Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
(b) The court shall hold a hearing on the petition filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section not more than two weeks after the criminal proceeding that occurred as a result of the arrest has been nolled, dismissed or otherwise disposed of. The court shall deny the petition and return the property to the owner if the criminal proceeding does not result in (1) a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any offense charged in the same criminal information, (2) a guilty verdict after trial to a forfeiture-eligible offense for which the property was possessed, controlled, designed or intended for use, or which was or had been used as a means of committing such offense, or which constitutes the proceeds of the commission of such offense, or (3) a dismissal resulting from the completion of a pretrial diversionary program.
(c) If the court finds the allegations made in such petition to be true and that the property has been possessed, controlled or designed for use, or is or has been or is intended to be used, with intent to violate or in violation of any of the criminal laws of this state, or constitutes the proceeds of a violation of any of the criminal laws of this state, except a violation of § 21a-267, 21a-277, 21a-278 or 21a-279, and that a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to such offense or another charge in the same criminal information, or a guilty verdict after trial for such forfeiture-eligible offense, or a dismissal resulting from the completion of a pretrial diversionary program has been entered, the court shall render judgment that such property is a nuisance and order the property to be destroyed or disposed of to a charitable or educational institution or to a governmental agency or institution, except that if any such property is subject to a bona fide mortgage, assignment of lease or rent, lien or security interest, such property shall not be so destroyed or disposed of in violation of the rights of the holder of such mortgage, assignment of lease or rent, lien or security interest.
(d) (1) When the condemned property is money (A) on and after October 1, 2014, and prior to July 1, 2016, the court shall order that such money be distributed as follows: (i) Seventy per cent shall be allocated to the law enforcement agency, including the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and local police departments, responsible for investigating the criminal violation and seizing the money, and such local police departments shall use such money for the detection, investigation, apprehension and prosecution of persons for the violation of criminal laws, and any money allocated to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall be deposited in the General Fund; (ii) twenty per cent shall be deposited in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund established in § 54-215; and (iii) ten per cent shall be allocated to the Division of Criminal Justice and deposited in the General Fund; and (B) on and after July 1, 2016, such money shall be deposited in the General Fund.
(2) When the condemned property is a valuable prize, which is subject to a bona fide mortgage, assignment of lease or rent, lien or security interest, such property shall remain subject to such mortgage, assignment of lease or rent, lien or security interest.
(e) When any property or valuable prize has been declared a nuisance and condemned under this section, the court may also order that such property be sold in accordance with procedures approved by the Commissioner of Administrative Services. Proceeds of such sale shall first be allocated toward the balance of any mortgage, assignment of lease or rent, lien or security interest, and the remaining proceeds of such sale, if any, shall be allocated in accordance with subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, of subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of this section. In any criminal prosecution, secondary evidence of property condemned and destroyed pursuant to this section shall be admissible against the defendant to the same extent as such evidence would have been admissible had the property not been condemned and destroyed.
(f) If the court finds the allegations not to be true, irrespective of the findings in the criminal proceeding, or that the property has not been kept with intent to violate or in violation of the criminal laws of this state, or that the property does not constitute the proceeds of a violation of the criminal laws of this state, or that the property is the property of a person who is not a defendant, the court shall order the property returned to the owner forthwith and the party in possession of such property pending such determination shall be responsible and personally liable for such property from the time of seizure and shall immediately comply with such order.
(g) Failure of the state to proceed against such property in accordance with the provisions of this section shall not prevent the use of such property as evidence in any criminal trial.