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Joseph
Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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how long can the police hold seized items if no case has been

Resolved Question:

how long can the police hold seized items if no case has been filed and no arrests made
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

Hello and thanks for choosing Just Answer®. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and assist you.

 

To provide you with accurate information, could you please clarify these points so I can best address your inquiry:

 

  • 1. When did this happen?
  • 2. What was it that happened?
  • 3. If you know, what charges are being contemplated?
  • 4. What items were seized?
  • 5. Have you spoken to law enforcement about this? If so, what is their response?

 

Once I hear back from you, I will be glad to let you know my answer. There may be some delay as I am assisting other customers or am away from my computer. Please rest assured, however, that I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

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.

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

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:

  • Your home was searched
  • 192 items were seized
  • No arrest has taken place
  • Four months is plenty of time for the officers to investigate and make an arrest
  • As nothing has occurred, you are demanding the return of your property

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.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
do I have any recorse then against the insurance company, who were pussing the matter even though they had no evidence and it looks likley that the search warant would not hold up as the reason for the warrant being issued is considered not water tight
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

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.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience: I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
Joseph and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.

 

Thank you for your patience.

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