Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 11, by striking line 37, and inserting:
/ imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.
Section 16-3-2090. (A) All offenses pursuant to this article qualify as offenses subject to forfeiture and are subject to the provisions as provided by law.
(1) The following are subject to forfeiture:
(a) all monies used, or intended for use, in violation of this article;
(b) all property constituting the proceeds obtained directly or indirectly, for a violation of this article;
(c) all property derived from the proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, from any sale or exchange for pecuniary gain from a violation of this article;
(d) all property used or intended for use, in any manner or part, to commit or facilitate the commission of a violation for pecuniary gain of this article;
(e) all books, records, and research products and materials, including formulas, microfilm, tapes, and data which are used, or which have been positioned for use, in violation of this article;
(f) all conveyances including, but not limited to, trailers, aircraft, motor vehicles, and watergoing vessels, which are used or intended for use unlawfully to conceal or transport or facilitate a violation of this section. No motor vehicle may be forfeited to the State under this item unless it is used, intended for use, or in any manner facilitates a violation of this article;
(g) all property including, but not limited to, monies, negotiable instruments, securities, or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished by any person in exchange for any kind of services under this article, and all proceeds including, but not limited to, monies, and real and personal property traceable to any exchange; and
(h) overseas assets of persons convicted of trafficking in persons also are subject to forfeiture to the extent they can be retrieved by the government.
(2) Any property subject to forfeiture under this article may be seized by the investigating agency having authority upon warrant issued by any court having jurisdiction over the property. Seizure without process may be made if the:
(a) seizure is incident to an arrest or a search under a search warrant or an inspection under an administrative inspection warrant;
(b) property subject to seizure has been the subject of a prior judgment in favor of the State in a criminal injunction or forfeiture proceeding based upon this article;
(c) the investigating agency has probable cause to believe that the property is directly or indirectly dangerous to health or safety; or
(d) the investigating agency has probable cause to believe that the property was used or is intended to be used in violation of this article.
(3) In the event of seizure, proceedings under this article regarding forfeiture and disposition must be instituted within a reasonable time.
(4) Any property taken or detained under this section is not subject to replevin but is considered to be in the custody of the investigating agency making the seizure subject only to the orders of the court having jurisdiction over the forfeiture proceedings. Property is forfeited and transferred to the government at the moment of illegal use. Seizure and forfeiture proceedings confirm the transfer.
(5) For the purposes of this article, whenever the seizure of property subject to seizure is accomplished as a result of a joint effort by more than one law enforcement agency, the law enforcement agency initiating the investigation is considered to be the agency making the seizure.
(6) Law enforcement agencies seizing property pursuant to this article shall take reasonable steps to maintain the property. Equipment and conveyances seized must be removed to an appropriate place for storage. Monies seized must be deposited in an interest bearing account pending final disposition by the court unless the seizing agency determines the monies to be of an evidential nature and provides for security in another manner.
(7) When property and monies of any value as defined in this article or anything else of any value is seized, the law enforcement agency making the seizure, within ten days or a reasonable period of time after the seizure, shall submit a report to the appropriate prosecution agency.
(a) The report must provide the following information with respect to the property seized:
(ii) circumstances of seizure;
(iii) present custodian and where the property is being stored or its location;
(iv) name of owner;
(v) name of lienholder; and
(vi) seizing agency.
(b) If the property is a conveyance, the report shall include the:
(i) make, model, serial number, and year of the conveyance;
(ii) person in whose name the conveyance is registered; and
(iii) name of any lienholders.
(c) In addition to the report, the law enforcement agency shall prepare for dissemination to the public upon request a report providing the following information:
(i) a description of the quantity and nature of the property and money seized;
(ii) the seizing agency;
(iii) the make, model, and year of a conveyance; and
(iv) the law enforcement agency responsible for the property or conveyance seized.
(d) Property or conveyances seized by a law enforcement agency or department may not be used by officers for personal purposes.
(B)(1) Forfeiture of property must be accomplished by petition of the Attorney General or his designee or the circuit solicitor or his designee to the court of common pleas for the jurisdiction where the items were seized. The petition must be submitted to the court within a reasonable time period following seizure and shall provide the facts upon which the seizure was made. The petition shall describe the property and include the names of all owners of record and lienholders of record. The petition shall identify any other persons known to the petitioner to have interests in the property. Petitions for the forfeiture of conveyances also shall include the make, model, and year of the conveyance, the person in whose name the conveyance is registered, and the person who holds the title to the conveyance. The petition shall provide the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved. A copy of the petition must be sent to each law enforcement agency which has notified the petitioner of its involvement in effecting the seizure. Notice of hearing or rule to show cause must be directed to all persons with interests in the property listed in the petition, including law enforcement agencies which have notified the petitioner of their involvement in effecting the seizure. Owners of record and lienholders of record may be served by certified mail, to the last known address as appears in the records of the governmental agency which records the title or lien.
(2) The judge shall determine whether the property is subject to forfeiture and order the forfeiture confirmed. The Attorney General or his designee or the circuit solicitor or his designee has the burden of proof to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is subject to forfeiture. If the judge finds a forfeiture, he shall then determine the lienholder's interest as provided in this article. The judge shall determine whether any property must be returned to a law enforcement agency pursuant to this section.
(3) If there is a dispute as to the division of the proceeds of forfeited property among participating law enforcement agencies, this issue must be determined by the judge. The proceeds from a sale of property, conveyances, and equipment must be disposed of pursuant to this section.
(4) All property, conveyances, and equipment which will not be reduced to proceeds may be transferred to the law enforcement agency or agencies or to the prosecution agency. Upon agreement of the law enforcement agency or agencies and the prosecution agency, conveyances and equipment may be transferred to any other appropriate agency. Property transferred may not be used to supplant operating funds within the current or future budgets. If the property seized and forfeited is an aircraft or watercraft and is transferred to a state law enforcement agency or other state agency pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, its use and retainage by that agency is at the discretion and approval of the State Budget and Control Board.
(5) If a defendant or his attorney sends written notice to the petitioner or the seizing agency of his interest in the subject property, service may be made by mailing a copy of the petition to the address provided and service may not be made by publication. In addition, service by publication may not be used for a person incarcerated in a Department of Corrections facility, a county detention facility, or other facility where inmates are housed for the county where the seizing agency is located. The seizing agency shall check the appropriate institutions after receiving an affidavit of nonservice before attempting service by publication.
(6) Any forfeiture may be effected by consent order approved by the court without filing or serving pleadings or notices provided that all owners and other persons with interests in the property, including participating law enforcement agencies, entitled to notice under this section, except lienholders and agencies, consent to the forfeiture. Disposition of the property may be accomplished by consent of the petitioner and those agencies involved. Persons entitled to notice under this section may consent to some issues and have the judge determine the remaining issues.
(7) Disposition of forfeited property under this section must be accomplished as follows:
(a) Property forfeited under this subsection shall first be applied to payment to the victim. The return of the victim to his home country or other absence of the victim from the jurisdiction shall not prevent the victim from receiving compensation.
(b) The victim and the South Carolina Victim's Compensation Fund shall each receive one-fourth, and law enforcement shall receive one-half of the value of the forfeited property.
(c) If no victim is named, or reasonable attempts to locate a named victim for forfeiture and forfeiture fails, then all funds shall revert to the South Carolina Victim's Compensation Fund and law enforcement to be divided equally.
(d) If federal law enforcement becomes involved in the investigation, they shall equitably split the share local law enforcement receives under this article, if they request or pursue any of the forfeiture. The equitable split must be pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 881(e)(1)(A) and (e)(3), 18 U.S.C. Section 981(e)(2), and 19 U.S.C. Section 1616a.
(C)(1) An innocent owner, manager, or owner of a licensed rental agency or any common carrier or carrier of goods for hire may apply to the court of common pleas for the return of any item seized. Notice of hearing or rule to show cause accompanied by copy of the application must be directed to all persons and agencies entitled to notice. If the judge denies the application, the hearing may proceed as a forfeiture hearing.
(2) The court may return any seized item to the owner if the owner demonstrates to the court by a preponderance of the evidence:
(a) in the case of an innocent owner, that the person or entity was not a consenting party to, or privy to, or did not have knowledge of, the use of the property which made it subject to seizure and forfeiture; or
(b) in the case of a manager or an owner of a licensed rental agency, a common carrier, or a carrier of goods for hire, that any agent, servant, or employee of the rental agency or of the common carrier or carrier of goods for hire was not a party to, or privy to, or did not have knowledge of, the use of the property which made it subject to seizure and forfeiture.
If the licensed rental agency demonstrates to the court that it has rented the seized property in the ordinary course of its business and that the tenant or tenants were not related within the third degree of kinship to the manager or owner, or any agents, servants, or employees of the rental agency, then it is presumed that the licensed rental agency was not a party to, or privy to, or did not have knowledge of, the use of the property which made it subject to seizure and forfeiture.
(3) The lien of an innocent person or other legal entity, recorded in public records, shall continue in force upon transfer of title of any forfeited item, and any transfer of title is subject to the lien, if the lienholder demonstrates to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that he was not a consenting party to, or privy to, or did not have knowledge of, the involvement of the property which made it subject to seizure and forfeiture.
(D) A person who uses property or a conveyance in a manner which would make the property or conveyance subject to forfeiture except for innocent owners, rental agencies, lienholders, and the like as provided for in this article, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than one year, fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both. The penalties prescribed in this section are cumulative and must be construed to be in addition to any other penalty prescribed by another provision of this article." /
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.