(1) Should any person appear at the hearing provided for in s. 206.205 and claim the things seized and interpose any defense to the affidavit mentioned in said section, the circuit judge shall determine whether the evidence adduced proves beyond a reasonable doubt that such things are forfeited and make his or her written order accordingly. If the judge shall determine in the affirmative, such things shall be sold by the sheriff in the same manner and upon the same terms and conditions as provided in s. 206.205, but if the judge shall determine in the negative respecting all or any of such things, the part not forfeited shall be returned to the person legally entitled thereto.
(2) The hearing before the circuit judge shall be informal, and he or she may make all rules and orders to carry this section into effect. The sheriff may call upon the state attorney to assist him or her in preparing the affidavit herein mentioned and represent the sheriff at the hearing before the circuit judge, and in taking and perfecting any appeal from the final decision of the circuit judge.
(3) The state, the sheriff, or the claimant who is dissatisfied with the decision may appeal from the final decision of the court to the appropriate district court of appeal in the same manner and within the time as appeals in chancery are taken under the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, and upon such appeal being entered such circuit judge shall cause to be reduced to writing and authenticate with the judge’s signature all oral evidence considered by the judge upon such hearing, and the same shall be filed with the papers in the case and thereby become a part of the record proper.
(4) If authorized by the State Constitution, appeal may be taken to the Supreme Court. No appeal taken by any party shall operate as a supersedeas, but such things shall remain in the custody of the sheriff pending such appeal and to abide the final decision of the appellate court.