VC 23592 - Impounding Vehicles

23592. (a) (1) Whenever a person is convicted of any of the following offenses committed while driving a motor vehicle of which he or she is the owner, the court, at the time sentence is imposed on the person, may order the motor vehicle impounded for a period of not more than six months for a first conviction, and not more than 12 months for a second or subsequent conviction:
  1. Driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license.
  2. A violation of Section 2800.2 resulting in an accident or Section 2800.3, if either violation occurred within seven years of one or more separate convictions for a violation of any of the following:
    1. Section 23103, if the vehicle involved in the violation was driven at a speed of 100 or more miles per hour.
    2. Section 23152.
    3. Section 23153.
    4. Section 191.5 of the Penal Code.
    5. Subdivision (c) of Section 192 of the Penal Code.

(2) The cost of keeping the vehicle is a lien on the vehicle pursuant to Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 3067) of Title 14 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any motor vehicle impounded pursuant to this section which is subject to a chattel mortgage, conditional sale contract, or lease contract shall be released by the court to the legal owner upon the filing of an affidavit by the legal owner that the chattel mortgage, conditional sale contract, or lease contract is in default and shall be delivered to the legal owner upon payment of the accrued cost of keeping the vehicle.

VC 23594 - Impoundment of Vehicles

223594. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the interest of any registered owner of a motor vehicle that has been used in the commission of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 for which the owner was convicted, is subject to impoundment as provided in this section. Upon conviction, the court may order the vehicle impounded at the registered owner's expense for not less than one nor more than 30 days.

If the offense occurred within five years of a prior offense which resulted in conviction of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, the prior conviction shall also be charged in the accusatory pleading and if admitted or found to be true by the jury upon a jury trial or by the court upon a court trial, the court shall, except in an unusual case where the interests of justice would best be served by not ordering impoundment, order the vehicle impounded at the registered owner's expense for not less than one nor more than 30 days.

If the offense occurred within five years of two or more prior offenses which resulted in convictions of violations of Section 23152 or 23153, the prior convictions shall also be charged in the accusatory pleading and if admitted or found to be true by the jury upon a jury trial or by the court upon a court trial, the court shall, except in an unusual case where the interests of justice would best be served by not ordering impoundment, order the vehicle impounded at the registered owner's expense for not less than one nor more than 90 days.

For the purposes of this section, the court may consider in the interests of justice factors such as whether impoundment of the vehicle would result in a loss of employment of the offender or the offender's family, impair the ability of the offender or the offender's family to attend school or obtain medical care, result in the loss of the vehicle because of inability to pay impoundment fees, or unfairly infringe upon community property rights or any other facts the court finds relevant. When no impoundment is ordered in an unusual case pursuant to this section, the court shall specify on the record and shall enter in the minutes the circumstances indicating that the interests of justice would best be served by that disposition.

(b) No vehicle which may be lawfully driven on the highway with a class C or class M driver's license, as specified in Section 12804.9, is subject to impoundment under this section if there is a community property interest in the vehicle owned by a person other than the defendant and the vehicle is the sole vehicle available to the defendant's immediate family which may be operated on the highway with a class C or class M driver's license.

VC 23596 - Vehicle Declared Nuisance: Sale of Vehicle

23596. (a) (1) Upon its own motion or upon motion of the prosecutor in a criminal action for a violation of any of the following offenses, the court with jurisdiction over the offense, notwithstanding Section 86 of the Code of Civil Procedure and any other provision of law otherwise prescribing the jurisdiction of the court based upon the value of the property involved, may declare the motor vehicle driven by the defendant to be a nuisance if the defendant is the registered owner of the vehicle:

  1. A violation of Section 191.5 of, or paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 of, the Penal Code.
  2. A violation of Section 23152 which occurred within seven years of two or more separate offenses of Section 191.5 of, or paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 of, the Penal Code, or Section 23152 or 23153, or any combination thereof, which resulted in convictions.
  3. A violation of Section 23153 which occurred within seven years of one or more separate offenses of Section 191.5 of, or paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 of, the Penal Code, or Section 23152 or 23153, which resulted in convictions.

(2) The court or the prosecutor shall give notice of the motion to the defendant, and the court shall hold a hearing before a motor vehicle may be declared a nuisance under this section.

(b) Except as provided in subdivision (g), upon the conviction of the defendant and at the time of pronouncement of sentence, the court with jurisdiction over the offense shall order any vehicle declared to be a nuisance pursuant to subdivision (a) to be 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 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 (c).

(c) Any legal owner who is a motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union, acceptance corporation, or other licensed finance institution legally operating in this state, or the agent of that legal owner, may take possession and conduct the sale of the vehicle declared to be a nuisance 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 (b). Sale of the vehicle pursuant to this subdivision may be conducted at the time, in the manner, and on the notice usually given 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 (e). A notice pursuant to this subdivision may be presented in person, by certified mail, by facsimile transmission, or by electronic mail. The agent of a legal owner acting pursuant to this subdivision shall be licensed, or exempt from licensure, pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.

(d) If the legal owner or the agent of 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 (c), 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 the 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.

(e) 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 the 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. If the vehicle was forfeited as a result of a felony violation of Section 191.5 of the Penal Code, or of Section 23153 that resulted in serious bodily injury to any person other than the defendant, the balance, if any, to the city or county in which the violation occurred, to be deposited in its general fund.
  6. Except as provided in paragraph (5), the balance, if any, to the city or county in which the violation occurred, to be expended for community-based adolescent substance abuse treatment services.

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.

(f) 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.

(g) No vehicle shall 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 that may be operated on the highway with a class 3 or class 4 driver's license.

(h) The Legislature finds and declares it to be the public policy of this state that no policy of insurance shall afford benefits that would alleviate the financial detriment suffered by any person as a direct or indirect result of a confiscation of a vehicle pursuant to this section.

VC 23598 - Alternative to Alcohol or Drug Education Program

23598. In lieu of the alcohol or drug education program prescribed by Section 23538, 23542, 23548, 23552, 23556, 23562, or 23568, a court may impose, as a condition of probation, that the person complete, subsequent to the underlying conviction, a program specified in Section 8001 of the Penal Code, if the person consents and has been accepted into that program. Acceptance into that program shall be verified by a certification, under penalty of perjury, by the director of the program.

VC 23600 - Sentencing: Minimum Probation Conditions

23600. (a) If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, the court shall not stay or suspend pronouncement of sentencing, and shall pronounce sentence in conjunction with the conviction in a reasonable time, including time for receipt of any presentence investigation report ordered pursuant to Section 23655.

(b) If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 and is granted probation, the terms and conditions of probation shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Notwithstanding Section 1203a of the Penal Code, a period of probation not less than three nor more than five years; provided, however, that if the maximum sentence provided for the offense may exceed five years in the state prison, the period during which the sentence may be suspended and terms of probation enforced may be for a longer period than three years but may not exceed the maximum time for which sentence of imprisonment may be pronounced.
  2. A requirement that the person shall not drive a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in his or her blood.
  3. A requirement that the person, if arrested for a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, shall not refuse to submit to a chemical test of his or her blood, breath, or urine, pursuant to Section 23612, for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood.
  4. A requirement that the person shall not commit any criminal offense.

(c) The court shall not absolve a person who is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 from the obligation of spending the minimum time in confinement, if any, or of paying the minimum fine imposed by law.

(d) In addition to any other provision of law, if any person violates paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (b) and the person had a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.04 percent as determined by a chemical test, the court shall revoke or terminate the person's probation as provided by Section 23602, regardless of any other proceeding, and shall only grant a new term of probation of not more than five years on the added condition that the person be confined in the county jail for not less than 48 hours for each of these violations of probation, except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served if this additional condition were not imposed.