TITLE 11

Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Criminal Procedure Generally

CHAPTER 23. SEARCH AND SEIZURE

Subchapter II. Vehicles


As used in this subchapter:

"Vehicle'' includes all motor-propelled vehicles, wagons, carts, carriages, bicycles, vessels and aircraft.

42 Del. Laws, c. 144, § 1; 11 Del. C. 1953, § 2321; 58 Del. Laws, c. 424, § 3.;

Whenever any vehicle, as defined in this subchapter, has been used in, or in connection with, the commission of any felony or in connection with the flight or escape of any person who has committed any felony or in the transporting of cigarettes in violation of Chapter 53 of Title 30, or in a violation of § 1343 of this title, it shall forthwith be seized and taken into custody by the peace officer or officers having knowledge of the facts of such use.

42 Del. Laws, c. 144, § 2; 11 Del. C. 1953, § 2322; 55 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 5; 58 Del. Laws, c. 424, § 4; 69 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 3.;

Whenever any vehicle, as defined in this subchapter, is used or intended for use to transport or in any manner to facilitate the transportation of any controlled substance in violation of subchapter IV of Chapter 47 of Title 16, it shall forthwith be seized and taken into custody by the peace officer or officers having knowledge of the facts of such use, but:

(1) No vehicle used by any person as a common carrier in the transaction of business as a common carrier is subject to forfeiture under this section unless it appears that the owner or other person in charge of the vehicle is a consenting party or privy to a violation of the Controlled Substances Act;

(2) No vehicle is subject to forfeiture under this section by reason of any act or omission established by the owner thereof to have been committed or omitted without the owner's knowledge or consent;

(3) A vehicle is not subject to forfeiture for a violation of §§ 4761(a) or (b), 4763, 4764 of Title 16; and

(4) A forfeiture of a vehicle encumbered by a bona fide security interest is subject to the interest of the secured party if the secured party neither had knowledge of nor consented to the act or omission.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 2322A; 58 Del. Laws, c. 424, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 7.;

The vehicle seized under this subchapter shall be proceeded against by the Attorney General on behalf of this State, by libel in the Superior Court for the condemnation and forfeiture of the vehicle to this State. The Superior Court may by rule provide for the practice and procedure under this subchapter, including the giving of notice of the pendency of the libel of condemnation to all parties in interest, and in any event notice by registered United States mail to the last known post-office address of the party in interest, or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in this State as the Court by rule or order prescribes shall be sufficient.

42 Del. Laws, c. 144, § 3; 11 Del. C. 1953, § 2323.;

Upon the judgment of the Superior Court, the vehicle so seized and all of the rights, title and interest therein, or any right, title or interest in and to any such motor vehicle, as the Court determines, shall be forfeited to the State and the vehicle shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Division of State Police for its use. If the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Division of State Police determines that such seized vehicle is not suitable for its purposes, custody will be transferred to the State Treasurer, who may allocate the same to and for the use of any other state bureau, department, agency or officer or may sell the same and deposit the proceeds into the Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund.

42 Del. Laws, c. 144, § 4; 11 Del. C. 1953, § 2324; 63 Del. Laws, c. 140, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 87, § 172; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 138.;

This subchapter with respect to condemnation and forfeiture shall not apply to or against the owner of a vehicle who has not knowingly used or permitted the vehicle to be used in, or in connection with, the commission of a felony, or who has not knowingly and voluntarily used or permitted the vehicle to be used in, or in connection with, the flight or escape of any person who has committed any such felony or in the transporting of cigarettes in violation of Chapter 53 of Title 30, or in a violation of § 1343 of this title. Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed as authorizing the condemnation and forfeiture of the interest of any bona fide mortgagee or lienholder with respect to the vehicle but the burden in all such cases shall be upon such mortgagee or lienholder to show that it did not know or have cause to know, at the time its interest accrued, of a contemplated unlawful use of such vehicle.

42 Del. Laws, c. 144, § 5; 11 Del. C. 1953, § 2325; 55 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 6; 58 Del. Laws, c. 424, § 5; 69 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;