Q: Santa Ana, California what is the law regarding preservation of evidence while the convicted defendant is appealing?
Can the District Attorney or the Law Enforcement Agency release a vehicle from evidence while the defendant is going thru the appeals process? It was a vehicular homicide case and the defendant was charged with 2nd degree murder, implied malice. The case is in the first stage of appeals since the conviction recently took place. 2 people died as a result of a collision. I wanted a private investigator to look at the vehicle of the defendant since there was mention of the brake lines being cut. Then went to request the vehicle and found out it was released from police impound and auctioned off immediately after the trial had ended. I read in a document or transcript that the Judge ordered all evidence be preserved until the appeals process is completely exhausted. What is the normal process in a matter as such but with this being a vehicular homicide case?
A: Typically the car will not released until the outcome of the appeal. If there is a stipulation between the defense and the prosecution, sometimes that can speed up the release of the vehicle. Otherwise, they typically wait 60 days after all the appeals are finished before they released a vehicle or any other evidence involved in the crime.
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