Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-644 Vessels: forfeiture.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/18/2017 09:00 PM
SB644:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 18, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 644


Introduced by Senator Stone

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 668.5 to the Harbors and Navigation Code, relating to vessels.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 644, as amended, Stone. Vessels: forfeiture.
Existing law makes it a crime to operate any vessel, as defined, while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Existing law authorizes a peace officer to remove and seize a motor vehicle upon arresting a person for committing specified crimes using that motor vehicle. Existing law prohibits impounding that motor vehicle for more than 30 days, requires the registered and legal owner of the vehicle be provided the opportunity for a storage hearing, as specified, and requires the impounding agency to release the motor vehicle to the registered owner before the conclusion of the impoundment period under certain circumstances. Existing law makes the registered owner or his or her agent responsible for all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment, except as specified, and makes the impounding agency responsible for the actual costs incurred by the towing agency if the registered owner is absolved of liability for those charges, as specified.
This bill would authorize a peace officer to remove and seize court to cause the removal and seizure of a vessel upon arresting a person for operating the vessel while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, if his or her operation of the vessel resulted in the unlawful killing of a person. The bill would prohibit impounding if a person is convicted of a specified crime involving the operation of the vessel while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, and the conduct resulted in the unlawful killing of a person. The bill would prohibit impounding the vessel for more than 30 days, days. The bill would require that the registered and legal owner of the vessel be provided the opportunity for a storage hearing, as specified, and would require the impounding agency to release the vessel to the registered owner before the conclusion of the impoundment period under certain circumstances. The bill would make the registered owner or his or her agent responsible for all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment, except as specified, and would make the impounding agency responsible for the actual costs incurred by the towing agency if the registered owner is absolved of liability for those charges, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 668.5 is added to the Harbors and Navigation Code, to read:

668.5.
 (a) Whenever a peace officer determines that a person violated If a person is convicted of a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 655 and the conduct resulted in the unlawful killing of a person, the peace officer may immediately arrest and take into custody that person and may a court may cause the removal and seizure of the vessel used in the commission of that offense in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22650) of the Vehicle Code, as applicable. A vessel so seized may be impounded for not more than 30 days.
(b) The registered and legal owner of a vessel removed and seized under subdivision (a) or their agents his or her agent shall be provided the opportunity for a storage hearing to determine the validity of the storage in accordance with Section 22852 of the Vehicle Code.
(c) (1) Notwithstanding Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22650) of the Vehicle Code or any other law, an impounding agency shall release a vessel to the registered owner or his or her agent prior to the conclusion of the impoundment period described in subdivision (a) under any of the following circumstances:
(A) If the vessel is a stolen vessel.
(B) If the person alleged to have committed the offense, convicted of a violation, as described in subdivision (a), was not authorized by the registered owner of the vessel to operate the vessel at the time of the commission of the offense.
(C) If the registered owner of the vessel was neither the operator nor a passenger of the vessel at the time of the alleged violation pursuant to subdivision (a), or was unaware that the operator was using the vessel to engage in the conduct described in subdivision (a).
(D) If the legal owner or registered owner of the vessel is a rental agency.

(E)If, prior to the conclusion of the impoundment period, criminal charges are not filed by the district attorney because of a lack of evidence or the charges are otherwise dismissed by the court.

(2) A vessel shall be released pursuant to this subdivision only if the registered owner or his or her agent presents proof of current vessel registration, or if ordered by a court.

(3)If, pursuant to subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1) a vessel is released prior to the conclusion of the impoundment period, neither the person arrested pursuant to subdivision (a) nor the registered owner of the vessel is responsible for towing and storage charges nor shall the vessel be sold to satisfy those charges.

(d) A vessel seized and removed under subdivision (a) shall be released to the legal owner of the vessel, or the legal owner’s agent, on or before the 30th day of impoundment if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The legal owner is a vessel dealer, bank, credit union, acceptance corporation, or other licensed financial institution legally operating in this state, or is another person, not the registered owner, holding a security interest in the vessel.
(2) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent pays all towing and storage fees related to the impoundment of the vessel. No lien sale processing fees shall be charged to a legal owner who redeems the vessel on or before the 15th day of impoundment.
(3) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent presents foreclosure documents or an affidavit of repossession for the vessel.
(e) (1) The registered owner or his or her agent is responsible for all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the person convicted of engaging in the activities set forth in subdivision (a) was not authorized by the registered owner of the vessel to operate the vessel at the time of the commission of the offense, the court shall order the convicted person to reimburse the registered owner for any towing and storage charges related to the impoundment incurred by the registered owner to obtain possession of the vessel, unless the court finds that the person convicted does not have the ability to pay all or part of those charges.
(3) If the vessel is a rental, the rental agency may require the person to whom the vessel was rented to pay all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment incurred by the rental agency in connection with obtaining possession of the vessel.

(4)The owner is not liable for any towing and storage charges related to the impoundment if acquittal or dismissal occurs.

(5)

(4) The vessel may not be sold prior to the defendant’s conviction.

(6)The impounding agency is responsible for the actual costs incurred by the towing agency as a result of the impoundment should the registered owner be absolved of liability for those charges pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (c). Notwithstanding this provision, nothing shall prohibit an impounding agency from making prior payment arrangements to satisfy this requirement.