Bill Summary for H 427 (2011-2012)
|View NCGA Bill Details||2011-2012 Session|
TO PROVIDE FOR THE SEIZURE, FORFEITURE, AND SALE OF MOTOR VEHICLES USED BY DEFENDANTS IN FELONY CASES INVOLVING SPEEDING TO ELUDE ARREST.Intro. by Faircloth, Folwell, H. Warren, Shepard.
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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was an impaired driving offense, (1) did not know and had no reason to know that the defendant’s drivers license was revoked or that the defendant had no valid drivers license and no liability insurance, or (2) knew either piece of information but the defendant drove the vehicle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.