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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 118722
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I am wondering how long the police can hold evidence My son

Resolved Question:

I am wondering how long the police can hold evidence? My son gave an officer his cell phone to show him there were not any pictures on it. The officer took the phone, and 3 months have passed. He told me when he is good and ready is when he will get around to it. I asked him can he not just see there are not pictures on the phone, he said he did not know how to operate the phone. I am paying for the phone monthly and he just refuses to give it to me.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
If the phone is evidence in an open case, they can hold it until they decide no arrest is going to be made or if an arrest is made they can hold it until trial has completed. If you want the release of the phone, you can try to go to the DA's office and ask them to get the phone released or you can simply turn off the service on that phone and get another one for your son.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
That is the question, how long can they do nothing, he is not going to be arrested he is 14 and the police depatment just took the phones and thats it nothing more. So what I want to know is can they just take the phone and do absolutely nothing, no report to the prosecuter, no charges, no return of the phone, no search to see if the phone has anything on it? So bottome line for me is, is there a time frame for them to proceed?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
There is no time as long as the officer is considering the investigation open. What you can do is complain to his supervisor or to the internal affairs section of the department, especially if he has not properly submitted the phone to the evidence room as part of their procedures. Additionally, calling the DA and getting an order from them to the police department would be the next step if the PD still refuses to release the phone. Again, there are no actual time limits by law, but the officer is required to have logged the phone in as evidence to insure it is safeguarded and the chain of custody on the evidence.
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