AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE SEIZURE, FORFEITURE, AND SALE OF MOTOR VEHICLES USED BY DEFENDANTS IN FELONY CASES INVOLVING SPEEDING TO ELUDE ARREST. Summarized in Daily Bulletin 3/22/11, 4/8/11, 4/19/11, 6/9/11, and 6/14/11. Enacted June 23, 2011. Effective December 1, 2011.
Bill Summaries: H427 RUN AND YOU'RE DONE.
Summary date: Jun 30 2011 - View Summary
Summary date: Jun 14 2011 - View Summary
Senate amendment makes the following changes to 4th edition. Amends GS 20-141.5 to allow a nondefendant motor vehicle owner to file a petition with the clerk of court to seek a pretrial determination that the petitioner is an innocent owner. Directs the clerk to consider the issue of whether the petitioner is an innocent owner and to make a determination as soon as feasible. Specifies that if the clerk determines that petitioner is an innocent owner, the clerk must release the motor vehicle to the petitioner. Authorizes a court to reconsider a failed petition as part of the forfeiture hearing.
Summary date: Jun 9 2011 - View Summary
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to 3rd edition. Changes the facts a vehicle owner must establish to the court’s satisfaction to avoid seizure of a vehicle under GS 20-141.5 to be that (1) the defendant was an immediate member of the owner’s family at the time of the offense, (2) the defendant had no prior criminal convictions at the time of the offense and no pending or prior violations of traffic laws under GS Chapter 20 for three years prior to the offense, and (3) the defendant was under the age of 19 at the time of the offense. Also makes technical organizational changes.
Summary date: Apr 19 2011 - View Summary
House amendment completely rewrites 2nd edition by deleting provisions and adding new section (g) to GS 20-141.5 (Speeding to elude arrest). Sets out detailed procedure for seizure and sale of motor vehicle involved in felony violation of this statute. Requires sheriff to hold vehicle pending trial, unless vehicle owner posts bond for amount double the value of the property. Provides for return to owner upon an acquittal or dismissal of the charge. Gives court discretion to turn vehicle over to lienholder, and requires lienholder to pay proceeds of sale exceeding amount of lien to court.
Provides that upon defendant’s conviction of felony violation of this section, vehicle must be sold at public auction, and requires that proceeds of sale be allocated to expenses, liens in order of priorities, and the school fund, in that order.
Gives owner of vehicle right to jury determination as to whether owner was “innocent” and thus entitled to reclaim possession of vehicle. If owner cannot be found, contains detailed provisions for notice of sale by publication.
Requires special equipment to increase speed of vehicle to be removed and destroyed, unless removal is determined by a court to be impractical, in which case vehicle is to be turned over to public agency and used only for performance of official duties (subject to exception for lienholders and innocent owners).
Summary date: Apr 8 2011 - View Summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to 1st edition.
Adds new section amending GS 20-28.2 to permit a judge to determine whether the vehicle driven at the time of the offense is subject to a forfeiture order. Allows the determination to be made: (1) at a sentencing hearing for the underlying felony speeding to elude arrest, (2) at a separate hearing after conviction of the defendant, or (3) at a forfeiture hearing held at least 60 days after the defendant failed to appear at the scheduled trial for the underlying offense, provided the defendant’s order of arrest for failing to appear has not been set aside. Specifies that the vehicle becomes subject to forfeiture if the greater weight of the evidence shows that the defendant is guilty of felony speeding to elude arrest as defined. Makes a conforming change to GS 20.28.2(d). Adds a definition for speeding to elude arrest acknowledgment, as distinguished from impaired driving acknowledgement. Clarifies the definition for innocent owner to mean a motor vehicle owner who, if the offense resulting in seizure was an impaired driving offense, (1) did not know and had no reason to know that the defendant’s drivers license was revoked or that the defendant had no valid drivers license and no liability insurance, or (2) knew either piece of information but the defendant drove the vehicle without the person’s permission, and the owner files a police report and agrees to prosecute, or who, if the offense resulting in seizure was a felony speeding to elude arrest offense, did not give the defendant permission to drive the vehicle and the owner files a police report and agrees to prosecute the unauthorized operator of the motor vehicle, or who falls under another category in existing law. Makes a conforming change. Amends GS 20-28.2(c1), clarifying that if a motor vehicle subject to forfeiture was damaged while the defendant operator was committing the underlying offense resulting in seizure (rather than offense involving impaired driving), then the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must determine liable insurance companies. Amends GS 20-28.2(e), explaining that release of a vehicle to an innocent motor vehicle owner will only be ordered after satisfactory proof of, among other things, the execution of an impaired driving acknowledgment or a speeding to elude arrest acknowledgment, as defined. Makes a conforming change, and adds the same requirement to GS 20-28.3(e) (criteria required to release vehicle to nondefendant owner). Makes additional clarifying and conforming changes.
Amends GS 20-28.3(e2), adding that if the seizure was for a felony speeding to elude arrest offense, then the defendant motor vehicle owner may apply to the clerk of superior court in the county where charges are pending for pretrial release of the vehicle. Directs the clerk to release the vehicle to the defendant owner after payment of all charges, and under four specified conditions. Specifies procedure when a defendant motor vehicle owner obtains temporary possession of a seized vehicle and does not return the vehicle on the day of the forfeiture hearing or otherwise violates a condition of pretrial release. Makes other clarifying changes, and makes clarifying changes to GS 28.3(l). Makes additional clarifying and conforming changes.
Adds a new section amending GS 20-28.4(a) to clarify that a seized vehicle will be released, as specified, if the driver is subsequently not convicted of the underlying offense resulting in seizure (rather than an offense involving impaired driving) due to dismissal or a finding of not guilty, if the judge at the forfeiture hearing finds that the criteria for forfeiture have not otherwise been met (rather than fails to find that the drivers license was revoked as a result of a prior impaired driving revocation), and additional conditions under existing law are fulfilled.
Adds new section amending GS 20-28.8, directing the clerk of superior court to also electronically report impaired driving acknowledgments and speeding to elude arrest acknowledgments to the DMV, as defined. Adds new section amending GS 20-54.1 (forfeiture of right of registration), directing DMV to revoke the registration of all motor vehicles registered in the convicted person’s name, upon receipt of notice of conviction of a felony speeding to elude arrest offense, and to not register a vehicle in that person’s name until the person’s license is restored. Directs the convicted person to surrender registration to the DMV within 10 days of the date of notice to revoke registration.
Amends GS 20-141.5 to delete language applicable to owners or holders of security interests in vehicles subject to forfeiture, and makes other conforming changes.
Changes the act’s effective date to December 1, 2011 (was, October 1, 2011), applicable to offenses committed on or after that date.
Summary date: Mar 22 2011 - View Summary
Amends GS 20-28.3 to provide that a motor vehicle driven by a person charged with felony speeding to elude arrest under GS 20-141.5(b) is subject to seizure. Clarifies throughout that the Division of Motor Vehicles is the agency designated by the Governor to receive notice from the charging officer that a vehicle is subject to forfeiture and the agency responsible for issuing written notice of an impoundment to the vehicle owner and any lienholder of record. Provides that a defendant charged with felony speeding to elude arrest who is convicted pursuant to a plea agreement or a reduced charge of misdemeanor speeding to elude arrest under GS 20-141.5(a) shall be ordered to pay as restitution to the county board of education, the motor vehicle owner, or the lienholder the costs of towing and storing the vehicle. Amends GS 20-141.5(f) to require law enforcement agency policies to address factors to be considered by an officer when determining when to initiate or terminate a pursuit (was, determining when to break off a chase to stop and apprehend a suspect). Amends GS 20-141.5(g) to provide that the owner of or holder of a security interest in a vehicle driven by a defendant who commits the offense of felony speeding to elude arrest is an innocent party with respect to the vehicle if the defendant drove the vehicle without his or her consent. Makes other conforming changes. Effective October 1, 2011, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.