2015 Georgia Code
Title 9 - CIVIL PRACTICE
Chapter 16 - UNIFORM CIVIL FORFEITURE PROCEDURE ACT
§ 9-16-17 - Burden of proof and presumptions

GA Code § 9-16-17 (2015) What's This?

(a) (1) The state's burden of proof shall be to show by a preponderance of the evidence that seized property is subject to forfeiture.

(2) A property interest shall not be subject to forfeiture under this chapter if the owner of the interest or interest holder establishes that the owner or interest holder:

(A) Is not privy to criminal conduct giving rise to its forfeiture;

(B) Did not consent to the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture;

(C) Did not know of the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture;

(D) Did not know the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture was likely to occur;

(E) Should not have reasonably known the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture was likely to occur;

(F) Had not acquired and did not stand to acquire substantial proceeds from the conduct giving rise to its forfeiture other than as an interest holder in an arm's length commercial transaction;

(G) With respect to conveyances for transportation only, did not hold the property jointly, in common, or in community with a person whose conduct gave rise to the forfeiture;

(H) Does not hold the property for the benefit of or as nominee for any person whose conduct gave rise to its forfeiture, and, if the owner or interest holder acquired the interest through any such person, the owner or interest holder acquired it as a bona fide purchaser for value without knowingly taking part in an illegal transaction; and

(I) Acquired the interest:

(i) Before the completion of the conduct giving rise to its forfeiture and the person whose conduct gave rise to its forfeiture did not have the authority to convey the interest to a bona fide purchaser for value at the time of the conduct; or

(ii) After the completion of the conduct giving rise to its forfeiture:

(I) As a bona fide purchaser for value without knowingly taking part in an illegal transaction;

(II) Before the filing of a forfeiture lien on it and before the effective date of a notice of pending forfeiture relating to it and without notice of its seizure for forfeiture; and

(III) At the time the interest was acquired, was reasonably without cause to believe that the property was subject to forfeiture or likely to become subject to forfeiture.

(b) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any property of a person is subject to forfeiture under this chapter if the state attorney establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) The person has engaged in conduct giving rise to forfeiture;

(2) The property was acquired by the person during the period of the conduct giving rise to forfeiture or within a reasonable time after such period; and

(3) There was no likely source for the property other than the conduct giving rise to forfeiture.

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