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California Penal Code Section 246.1

246.1. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (f), upon the conviction of any person found guilty of murder in the first or second degree, manslaughter, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, the unlawful discharge or brandishing of a firearm from or at an occupied vehicle where the victim was killed, attacked, or assaulted from or in a motor vehicle by the use of a firearm on a public street or highway, or the unlawful possession of a firearm by a member of a criminal street gang, as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 186.22, while present in a vehicle the court shall order a vehicle used in the commission of that offense sold.

Any vehicle ordered to be sold pursuant to this subdivision shall be surrendered to the sheriff of the county or the chief of police of the city in which the violation occurred. The officer to whom the vehicle is surrendered shall promptly ascertain from the Department of Motor Vehicles the names and addresses of all legal and registered owners of the vehicle and within five days of receiving that information, shall send by certified mail a notice to all legal and registered owners of the vehicle other than the defendant, at the addresses obtained from the department, informing them that the vehicle has been declared a nuisance and will be sold or otherwise disposed of pursuant to this section, and of the approximate date and location of the sale or other disposition. The notice shall also inform any legal owner of its right to conduct the sale pursuant to subdivision (b).

(b) Any legal owner which in the regular course of its business conducts sales of repossessed or surrendered motor vehicles may take possession and conduct the sale of the vehicle if it notifies the officer to whom the vehicle is surrendered of its intent to conduct the sale within 15 days of the mailing of the notice pursuant to subdivision (a). Sale of the vehicle pursuant to this subdivision may be conducted at the time, in the manner, and on the notice usually given by the legal owner for the sale of repossessed or surrendered vehicles. The proceeds of any sale conducted by the legal owner shall be disposed of as provided in subdivision (d).

(c) If the legal owner does not notify the officer to whom the vehicle is surrendered of its intent to conduct the sale as provided in subdivision (b), the officer shall offer the vehicle for sale at public auction within 60 days of receiving the vehicle. At least 10 days but not more than 20 days prior to the sale, not counting the day of sale, the officer shall give notice of the sale by advertising once in a newspaper of general circulation published in the city or county, as the case may be, in which the vehicle is located, which notice shall contain a description of the make, year, model, identification number, and license number of the vehicle, and the date, time, and location of the sale. For motorcycles, the engine number shall also be included. If there is no newspaper of general circulation published in the county, notice shall be given by posting a notice of sale containing the information required by this subdivision in three of the most public places in the city or county in which the vehicle is located and at the place where the vehicle is to be sold for 10 consecutive days prior to and including the day of the sale.

(d) The proceeds of a sale conducted pursuant to this section shall be disposed of in the following priority:

(1) To satisfy the costs of the sale, including costs incurred with respect to the taking and keeping of the vehicle pending sale.

(2) To the legal owner in an amount to satisfy the indebtedness owed to the legal owner remaining as of the date of sale, including accrued interest or finance charges and delinquency charges.

(3) To the holder of any subordinate lien or encumbrance on the vehicle to satisfy any indebtedness so secured if written notification of demand is received before distribution of the proceeds is completed. The holder of a subordinate lien or encumbrance, if requested, shall reasonably furnish reasonable proof of its interest, and unless it does so on request is not entitled to distribution pursuant to this paragraph.

(4) To any other person who can establish an interest in the vehicle, including a community property interest, to the extent of his or her provable interest.

(5) The balance, if any, to the city or county in which the violation occurred, to be deposited in a special account in its general fund to be used exclusively to pay the costs or a part of the costs of providing services or education to prevent juvenile violence.

The person conducting the sale shall disburse the proceeds of the sale as provided in this subdivision, and provide a written accounting regarding the disposition to all persons entitled to or claiming a share of the proceeds, within 15 days after the sale is conducted.

(e) If the vehicle to be sold under this section is not of the type that can readily be sold to the public generally, the vehicle shall be destroyed or donated to an eleemosynary institution.

(f) No vehicle may be sold pursuant to this section in either of the following circumstances:

(1) The vehicle is stolen, unless the identity of the legal and registered owners of the vehicle cannot be reasonably ascertained.

(2) The vehicle is owned by another, or there is a community property interest in the vehicle owned by a person other than the defendant and the vehicle is the only vehicle available to the defendant s immediate family which may be operated on the highway with a class 3 or class 4 driver s license.

(g) A vehicle is used in the commission of a violation of the offenses enumerated in subdivision (a) if a firearm is discharged either from the vehicle at another person or by an occupant of a vehicle other than the vehicle in which the victim is an occupant.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 33, Sec. 1. Effective November 30, 1994.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016