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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 115494
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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This question regards evidence held in a criminal trial and

Customer Question

This question regards XXXXX XXXXX in a criminal trial and property insurance law in California. I was assaulted in 2005. My attacker is facing a life sentence. He has pled insanity and waived his right to a speedy trial. He had my gun when he was arrested. The charge involving the gun is unlawful possession by an ex-convict. He is facing 6 other felony charges.

Can the police keep my gun as evidence indefinitely? Do I have any rights vis-a-vis getting it back? If it matters, this model cannot be replaced: it is no longer being made.

Could I claim it as a loss against renters' insurance (I have had renters insurance continously with the same insurer since 2004 to the present)? I did not make a claim in 2005 because technically the gun was recovered by the police and I was told it would be returned to me after the trial. It appears there may never be a trial: the man is repped by a neverending rotation of public defenders. Each time his case is turned over, the PDA asks for more time, another mental exam (which invariably 1 of 3 MDs finds him unfit for trial).

Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
The police and DA can keep the gun until the trial and appeals are over, which in a case like this could mean indefinitely. You can seek to get an attorney and a court order to release the gun to you (which will be unlikely unless they find him permanently incompetent to stand trial) or you can seek to claim it on your insurance.

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