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Get Possessions Back from Police

The police took stuff from my car, house, boat, storage or other possessions.

Can I get possessions back from police? Assuming the items taken are not evidence of a crime and not used in the commission of a crime, the short answer is “yes.” Any property or possessions that are evidence of a crime will not be returned to you until the case is over. That time frame should include the appeal. If the item is illegal for you to possess, you won’t be getting it back. So, no, the police are not going to give you back your weed!

Generally, you will need a court order to get your stuff back. Your attorney can file a motion requesting the court order and, if the judge agrees, you can take that court order to the police department, and they will return your things to you.

If the judge doesn’t agree to sign the order, you have a couple of options. One option is to appeal the judge’s decision if the judge has failed to follow the law. The other choice is to file a civil action for replevin. A replevin complaint says, “hey, the police took my stuff, and they have no right to keep it; make them give it back.”

One thing to look out for in trying to get your stuff back is whether the police have initiated a civil forfeiture proceeding against you. A forfeiture proceeding is a process by which the police try to keep your things because they were somehow connected with criminal activity. Most commonly, we see law enforcement proceed with a forfeiture in a drug case. As an example, if the police arrested you while you were transporting drugs in your car, they could attempt to keep your car using a forfeiture proceeding. If they choose to do this, they are required to give you notice and there are ways of fighting against the forfeiture.

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