2020 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 5 - Searches and Seizures
Article 3 - Disposition of Property Seized
§ 17-5-51. Civil Forfeiture of Weapons Used in Commission of Crime, Possession of Which Constitutes Crime or Delinquent Act, or Illegal Concealment Generally

Universal Citation: GA Code § 17-5-51 (2020)

Any device which is used as a weapon in the commission of any crime against any person or any attempt to commit any crime against any person, any weapon the possession or carrying of which constitutes a crime or delinquent act, and any weapon for which a person has been convicted of violating Code Section 16-11-126 are declared to be contraband and shall be forfeited in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9, notwithstanding the time frames set forth in Code Section 9-16-7.

(Ga. L. 1967, p. 749, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1131, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 963, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 2-10/SB 308; Ga. L. 2012, p. 1285, § 2/SB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 3-14/HB 233.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 3-1/SB 308, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section shall apply to all offenses committed on and after June 4, 2010, and shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before June 4, 2010, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecution.

Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article on whether one's property is forfeited after a conviction based on a nolo contendere plea, see 13 Ga. L. Rev. 723 (1979). For article, "Crimes and Offenses," see 27 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 131 (2011). For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015). For note on the 1994 amendment of this Code section and Code Section 17-5-52, see 11 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 157 (1994).


Right of felon to dispose of gun collection.

- Mere fact that the court could not return a seized gun collection to the defendant because the defendant had been convicted of a felony did not authorize the court to treat the gun collection as contraband subject to disposal as set forth in O.C.G.A. § 17-5-51. LoGiudice v. State, 164 Ga. App. 709, 297 S.E.2d 499 (1982), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 950, 104 S. Ct. 2152, 80 L. Ed. 2d 538 (1984).

Only one of six seized firearms subject to forfeiture.

- When six firearms were seized from the defendant's home but only a reckless conduct charge against the defendant was due to the use of only one of the firearms seized, therefore, only this one firearm was contraband under O.C.G.A. § 17-5-51 and thus forfeited; the remaining guns were returned to the defendant. Holland v. State, 204 Ga. App. 22, 418 S.E.2d 400 (1992).

Sentence based on defendant's plea of nolo contendere constituted a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon within the meaning of O.C.G.A. § 17-5-51, requiring forfeiture of a weapon used in the commission of a crime. State v. Pitts, 199 Ga. App. 493, 405 S.E.2d 115 (1991).

Cited in Cannington v. State, 154 Ga. App. 557, 269 S.E.2d 62 (1980).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 36 Am. Jur. 2d, Forfeitures and Penalties, § 14 et seq. 79 Am. Jur. 2d, Weapons and Firearms, § 1 et seq.


- 37 C.J.S. (Rev), Forfeitures, § 1 et seq. 94 C.J.S., Weapons, § 72 et seq.


- Forfeiture of property for unlawful use before trial of individual offender, 3 A.L.R.2d 738.

Conviction or acquittal in criminal prosecution as bar to action for seizure, condemnation, or forfeiture of property, 27 A.L.R.2d 1137.

Automobile as dangerous or deadly weapon within meaning of assault or battery statute, 89 A.L.R.3d 1026.

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