Weapons Related Georgia CodeFound In LexisNexis by searching for "17-5-50" or in the TOC under:|
Title 17 - CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Chapter 5 - SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
Article 3 - DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY SEIZED
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O.C.G.A. § 17-5-50
Property unlawfully obtained; rights of owner; hearing; admissibility of photographs in lieu of original property; representation of unknown or absent defendants; statements made by defendant or agent at trial
(a) The clerk or person having charge of the property section for any police
department, sheriff's office, or other law enforcement agency in this state
shall enter in a suitable book a description of every article of property
alleged to be stolen, embezzled, or otherwise unlawfully obtained and brought
into the office or taken from the person of a prisoner and shall attach a number
to each article and make a corresponding entry thereof.
(b) (1) Any person claiming ownership of such allegedly stolen, embezzled, or
otherwise unlawfully obtained property may make application to the law
enforcement agency for the return of such property. Upon such an application
being filed, the clerk or person in charge of the property section shall serve
upon the person from whom custody of the property was taken a copy of such
application. Such person from whom custody of the property was taken shall have
a reasonable opportunity to claim ownership of such property and to request a
hearing on forms provided by the person in charge of the property section.
(2) If the person from whom custody of the property was taken fails to assert
a claim to such property, upon any applicant furnishing satisfactory proof of
ownership of such property and presentation of proper personal identification,
the person in charge of the property section may deliver such property to the
applicant. The person to whom property is delivered shall sign, under penalty of
false swearing, a declaration of ownership, which shall be retained by the
person in charge of the property section. Such declaration, absent any other
proof of ownership, shall be deemed satisfactory proof of ownership for the
purposes of this Code section; provided, however, that, in the case of motor
vehicles, trailers, tractors, or motorcycles which are required to be registered
with the state revenue commissioner, any such stolen vehicle shall be returned
to the person evidencing ownership of such vehicle through a certificate of
title, tag receipt, bill of sale, or other such evidence. The stolen vehicle
shall be returned to the person evidencing ownership within two days after such
person makes application for the return of such vehicle unless a hearing on the
ownership of such vehicle is required under this Code section or unless law
enforcement needs the stolen vehicle for further criminal investigation
purposes. Prior to such delivery, such person in charge of the property section
shall make and retain a complete photographic record of such property. Such
delivery shall be without prejudice to the state or to the person from whom
custody of the property was taken or to any other person who may have a claim
against the property.
(3) If the person from whom custody of the property was taken asserts a claim
to such property and requests a hearing, the court which examines the charge
against the person accused of stealing, embezzling, or otherwise unlawfully
obtaining the property, or the court before whom the trial is had for stealing,
embezzling, or otherwise unlawfully obtaining the property shall conduct the
hearing to determine the ownership of such property.
(4) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any contraband or
property subject to forfeiture under any provision of law.
(c) Photographs, video tapes, or other identification or analysis of the
property involved, duly identified in writing by the law enforcement officer
originally taking custody of the property as accurately representing such
property, shall be admissible at trial in lieu of the original property.
(d) In the case of unknown or unapprehended defendants or defendants willfully
absent from the jurisdiction, the court shall have discretion to appoint a
guardian ad litem to represent the interest of the unknown or absent defendants.
(e) Statements made by the defendant or a person representing the defendant at a
hearing provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section shall not be
admissible for use against the defendant at trial.
HISTORY: Orig. Code 1863, § 4637; Code 1868, § 4661; Code 1873, § 4759; Code 1882, § 4759; Penal Code 1895, § 1245; Penal Code 1910, § 1327; Code 1933, § 27-302; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2260, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 761, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 2336, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 158, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 415, § 17; Ga. L. 2005, p. 334, § 7-1/HB 501.