14-298. Seizure of illegal gaming items.

Upon a determination that probable cause exists to believe that any gaming table prohibited to be used by G.S. 14-289 through G.S. 14-300, any illegal punchboard or illegal slot machine, any video game machine prohibited to be used by G.S. 14-306 or G.S. 14-306.1A, any game terminal described in G.S. 14-306.3(b), or any electronic machine or device using an entertaining display in violation of G.S. 14-306.4 is in the illegal possession or use of any person within the limits of their jurisdiction, all sheriffs and law enforcement officers are authorized to seize the items in accordance with applicable State law. Any law enforcement agency in possession of that item shall retain the item pending a disposition order from a district or superior court judge. Upon application by the law enforcement agency, district attorney, or owner, and after notice and opportunity to be heard by all parties, if the court determines that the item is unlawful to possess, it shall enter an order releasing the item to the law enforcement agency for destruction or for training purposes. If the court determines that the item is not unlawful to possess and will not be used in violation of the law, the item shall be ordered released to its owner upon satisfactory proof of ownership. The foregoing procedures for release shall not apply, however, with respect to an item seized for use as evidence in any criminal action or proceeding until after entry of final judgment. (1791, c. 336, P.R.; 1798, c. 502, s. 2, P.R.; R.C., c. 34, s. 74; Code, s. 1049; Rev., s. 3720; C.S., s. 4435; 1931, c. 14, s. 4; 1973, c. 108, s. 11; 2000-151, s. 5; 2004-199, ss. 47(a), 47(b); 2004-203, s. 20(a); 2007-484, s. 3(a); 2008-122, s. 2; 2010-103, s. 2.)