Article 3. Return Of Stolen Motor Vehicle Retained As Evidence of California Vehicle Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 2.5. >> Article 3.
When criminal charges have been filed involving a motor
vehicle alleged to have been stolen and the vehicle is in the custody
of a peace officer for evidentiary purposes, it shall be held in
custody or, if a request for its release from custody is made, until
the prosecutor has notified the defendant or his or her attorney of
that request and both the prosecution and defense have been afforded
a reasonable opportunity for an examination of the motor vehicle to
determine its true value and to produce or reproduce, by photographs
or other identifying techniques, legally sufficient evidence for
introduction at trial or other criminal proceedings.
Upon expiration of a reasonable time for the completion of
the examination, which in no event shall exceed 30 days from the date
of service of the notice of request or return of the motor vehicle
as provided in Section 6171, the property shall be released to the
person making that request after satisfactory proof of the person's
entitlement to the possession. Notwithstanding the foregoing, upon ex
parte application by either party with notice to the other, the
court may grant additional time for the examination or order
retention of the motor vehicle if it determines that either is
necessary to further the interests of justice; however, this
provision shall not be construed to require a noticed hearing.