Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

RESOURCES > Title 21 USC Codified CSA > Section 885

Title 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act


Part E — Administrative and Enforcement Provisions

§885. Burden of proof; liabilities

(a) Exemptions and exceptions; presumption in simple possession offenses

(1) It shall not be necessary for the United States to negative any exemption or exception set forth in this subchapter in any complaint, information, indictment, or other pleading or in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding under this subchapter, and the burden of going forward with the evidence with respect to any such exemption or exception shall be upon the person claiming its benefit.

(2) In the case of a person charged under section 844(a) of this title with the possession of a controlled substance, any label identifying such substance for purposes of section 353(b)(2) of this title shall be admissible in evidence and shall be prima facie evidence that such substance was obtained pursuant to a valid prescription from a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice.

(b) Registration and order forms

In the absence of proof that a person is the duly authorized holder of an appropriate registration or order form issued under this subchapter, he shall be presumed not to be the holder of such registration or form, and the burden of going forward with the evidence with respect to such registration or form shall be upon him.

(c) Use of vehicles, vessels, and aircraft

The burden of going forward with the evidence to establish that a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft used in connection with controlled substances in schedule I was used in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter shall be on the persons engaged in such use.

(d) Immunity of Federal, State, local and other officials

Except as provided in sections 2234 and 2235 of title 18, no civil or criminal liability shall be imposed by virtue of this subchapter upon any duly authorized Federal officer lawfully engaged in the enforcement of this subchapter, or upon any duly authorized officer of any State, territory, political subdivision thereof, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States, who shall be lawfully engaged in the enforcement of any law or municipal ordinance relating to controlled substances.

(Pub. L. 91–513, title II, §515, Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1279.)

References in Text

Schedule I, referred to in subsec. (c), is set out in section 812(c) of this title.

NOTICE: This is an unofficial version. An official version of this publication may be obtained directly from the Government Publishing Office (GPO).

Emergency Disaster Relief
Search for Year Round Pharmaceutical Disposal Locations.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal here.
RX Abuse Online

Diversion Control Division  •  8701 Morrissette Drive  •  Springfield, VA 22152  •  1-800-882-9539

DOJ Legal Policies and Disclaimers    |    DOJ Privacy Policy    |    FOIA    |    Section 508 Accessibility