§ 61-8-421. Forfeiture procedure

61-8-421. Forfeiture procedure

(1) A motor vehicle forfeited under 61-8-733 must be seized by the arresting agency within 10 days after the conviction and disposed of as provided in Title 44, chapter 12, part 2. Except as provided in this section, the provisions of Title 44, chapter 12, part 2, apply to the extent applicable.

(2) Forfeiture proceedings under 44-12-201(1) must be instituted by the arresting agency within 20 days after the seizure of the motor vehicle.

(3) For purposes of 44-12-203 and 44-12-204, there is a rebuttable presumption of forfeiture. The owner of the motor vehicle may rebut the presumption by proving a defense under 61-8-733(2) or by proving that the owner was not convicted of a second or subsequent offense under 61-8-401 or 61-8-406. It is not a defense that the convicted person owns the motor vehicle jointly with another person.

(4)(a) For purposes of 44-12-206, the proceeds of the sale of the motor vehicle must be distributed first to the holders of security interests who have presented proper proof of their claims, up to the amount of the interests or the amount received from the sale, whichever is less, and the remainder to the general fund of the arresting agency.

(b) A holder of a security interest may petition the sentencing court for transfer of title to the motor vehicle to the holder of the security interest if the secured interest is equal to or greater than the estimated value of the motor vehicle.

(5) Actions the court may take under 44-12-205(3) to protect the rights of innocent persons include return of the motor vehicle without a sale to an owner who is unable to present an adequate defense under this section but is found by the court to be without fault.