Can the police keep mypersonal propertyas evidence for as long as they want if I’m not being charged with anything?

UPDATED: Jan 3, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 3, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can the police keep mypersonal propertyas evidence for as long as they want if I’m not being charged with anything?

Basically I was at my friends house and it was raided for pot selling; nothing to do with me. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, yet I was instantly arrested before the search began. My friend was also somehow in possession of a stolen laptop, again nothing to do with me. I also had on me at my friends house my ipad and iphone, which I bought at the store so I had receipts, and one laptop that I bought on-line, so there was no receipt to obtain. Now it’s been over a month.

Asked on January 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Well here is how the police see it. You were at your friend's house with 3 luxury electronic items, which included a laptop.  The police found a stolen laptop and had to inventory pretty much everything in the house.  If you showed the police the receipts, it doesn't necessarily mean those were the items or that they were your receipts.  If the police did not ticket you or arrest you and told you you were free to go, you now need to get the police station, go to the commanding officer and ask for the return of your belongings. Understand that once the police take it, it can be quite a long time before they return it, if at all. You need to be proactive of getting your items back or possibly suing your friend for the money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption