WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Last night we told you about a new law that lets law enforcement seize and sell cars that lead them on chases.
There are a handful of cases in New Hanover County that have fallen under the “Run and You’re Done” law. So far, though, none have paid off.
“The ten cases that we have seen in which the car came to our impound lot have been returned either back to the owner of the car or back to the lienholder of the car,” New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said.
Then if you run are you really done? The District Attorney’s office says each case must go through the judicial process before the final decision is made to release or sell a car that started a police chase.
John Coleman has dealt with this issue as a defense attorney. He says a defendant can pay a bond double the value of the vehicle and get it back until trial.
“I don’t believe anyone so far has actually posted double the cash amount of the value of the vehicle in order to have it returned,” Coleman said.
If convicted, though, that vehicle will be sold.
In one case in New Hanover County the charges were reduced, and the suspect got his car back. But in most of the county’s cases, the cars were returned because they did not belong to the people arrested for starting the chase.
“Two of the vehicles the lienholders petitioned and got the vehicle back,” Coleman said, “and then in another four of the cases, I believe after checking with the clerk’s office, the innocent owners came in and got the vehicles released to them.”
Law enforcement says “Run and You’re Done” is similar to certain DWI cases, where they can seize and sell your car.
If and when law enforcement does sell a chase vehicle the money won’t go back to the agency. Instead it all goes toward the county school district.