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9A.88.130  <<  9A.88.140 >>   9A.88.150

RCW 9A.88.140

Vehicle impoundment — Fees — Fines.

(1)(a) Upon an arrest for a suspected violation of patronizing a prostitute, promoting prostitution in the first degree, promoting prostitution in the second degree, promoting travel for prostitution, the arresting law enforcement officer may impound the person's vehicle if (i) the motor vehicle was used in the commission of the crime; (ii) the person arrested is the owner of the vehicle or the vehicle is a rental car as defined in RCW 46.04.465; and (iii) either (A) the person arrested has previously been convicted of one of the offenses listed in this subsection or (B) the offense was committed within an area designated under (b) of this subsection.

     (b) A local governing authority may designate areas within which vehicles are subject to impoundment under this section regardless of whether the person arrested has previously been convicted of any of the offenses listed in (a) of this subsection.

     (i) The designation must be based on evidence indicating that the area has a disproportionately higher number of arrests for the offenses listed in (a) of this subsection as compared to other areas within the same jurisdiction.

     (ii) The local governing authority shall post signs at the boundaries of the designated area to indicate that the area has been designated under this subsection.

     (2) Upon an arrest for a suspected violation of commercial sexual abuse of a minor, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, or promoting travel for commercial sexual abuse of a minor, the arresting law enforcement officer shall impound the person's vehicle if (a) the motor vehicle was used in the commission of the crime; and (b) the person arrested is the owner of the vehicle or the vehicle is a rental car as defined in RCW 46.04.465.

     (3) Impoundments performed under this section shall be in accordance with chapter 46.55 RCW and the impoundment order must clearly state "prostitution hold."

     (4)(a) Prior to redeeming the impounded vehicle, and in addition to all applicable impoundment, towing, and storage fees paid to the towing company under chapter 46.55 RCW, the owner of the impounded vehicle must pay a fine to the impounding agency. The fine shall be five hundred dollars for the offenses specified in subsection (1) of this section, or two thousand five hundred dollars for the offenses specified in subsection (2) of this section.

     (b) Upon receipt of the fine paid under (a) of this subsection, the impounding agency shall issue a written receipt to the owner of the impounded vehicle.

     (c) Fines assessed under this section shall be collected by the clerk of the court and remitted to the treasurer of the county where the offense occurred for deposit in the county general fund, except in cases in which the offense occurred in a city or town that provides for its own law enforcement, in which case these amounts shall be remitted to the treasurer of the city or town for deposit in the general fund of the city or town. Revenue from the fines must be used for local efforts to reduce the commercial sale of sex including, but not limited to, increasing enforcement of commercial sex laws.

     (i) At least fifty percent of the revenue from fines imposed under this section must be spent on prevention, including education programs for offenders, such as john school, and rehabilitative services for victims, such as mental health and substance abuse counseling, parenting skills, training, housing relief, education, vocational training, drop-in centers, and employment counseling.

     (ii) Two percent of the revenue from fines imposed under this section shall be remitted quarterly to the department of commerce, together with a report detailing the fees assessed, the revenue received, and how that revenue was spent.

     (iii) Revenues from these fees are not subject to the distribution requirements under RCW 3.50.100, 3.62.020, 3.62.040, 10.82.070, or 35.20.220.

     (5)(a) In order to redeem a vehicle impounded under this section, the owner must provide the towing company with the written receipt issued under subsection (4)(b) of this section.

     (b) The written receipt issued under subsection (4)(b) of this section authorizes the towing company to release the impounded vehicle upon payment of all impoundment, towing, and storage fees.

     (c) A towing company that relies on a forged receipt to release a vehicle impounded under this section is not liable to the impounding authority for any unpaid fine under subsection (4)(a) of this section.

     (6)(a) In any proceeding under chapter 46.55 RCW to contest the validity of an impoundment under this section where the claimant substantially prevails, the claimant is entitled to a full refund of the impoundment, towing, and storage fees paid under chapter 46.55 RCW and the five hundred dollar fine paid under subsection (4) of this section.

     (b) If the person is found not guilty at trial for a crime listed under subsection (1) of this section, the person is entitled to a full refund of the impoundment, towing, and storage fees paid under chapter 46.55 RCW and the fine paid under subsection (4) of this section.

     (c) All refunds made under this section shall be paid by the impounding agency.

     (d) Prior to receiving any refund under this section, the claimant must provide proof of payment.

[2013 c 121 § 6; 2010 c 289 § 12; 2009 c 387 § 1; 2007 c 368 § 8; 1999 c 327 § 3.]

Notes:

     Intent -- Finding--2013 c 121: See note following RCW 43.280.091.

     Findings -- Intent -- 1999 c 327: See note following RCW 9A.88.130.