Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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this happened on May 4th 2010
the State patrol mentered my home and removed 192 items ranging from household items to clothes, DVD's Books and my passport.
it appears that no charges are being contemplated
yes, i spoke with the officer, he told me that that the items that they were looking for, one in particular was not there, they were trying to link a theft that occured to me three years ago, to a recent claim I made against my insurance company, the company was looking to try and accuse me of insurance fraud, the officer told me that they had no evidence.
It happens occasionally where law enforcement will seize property, whether from a traffic stop, search warrant or some such similar action. Typically, an arrest will occur at that time or soon thereafter. However, there is no requirement in the law that an arrest take place very quickly, if at all.
However, four months should be plenty of time for law enforcement to investigate the matter and make a determination as to whether probable cause exists to make an arrest. If they do, then they can certainly hold on to any items that are illegal or evidence of illegal activity. Even in the event of an arrest, they should return any items that are not of evidentiary value.
As NOTHING has occurred, I would urge you to get a criminal defense attorney involved. As there has been no arrest, you can likely find an attorney for very little fee at this time. The attorney would write a letter to either the investigating officer or the chief of police. The letter would detail what you've described here:
I handled a similar matter for a client recently. I contacted the investigating officer first and received no response. However, within a couple days of contacting the chief, he called me personally and arranged a date and time for my client and I to go to the police station to pick up all of her belongings.
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Maybe. It would depend hugely on the basis for the warrant. In other words, if there was at least a reasonable belief that some illegal activity had occurred, then you probably have little recourse......other than the return of your property.
Conversely, if there was no legitimate basis for the actions, then you may have a potential lawsuit.
My suggestion is that you deal with the property first. Next, confirm that there will be no criminal prosecution. Then, and only then, speak with the attorney about any possible civil lawsuits for your damages incurred as a result of this potentially unlawful search and seizure.
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Thank you for your patience.
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