Return of Property: Los Angeles Criminal Cases

September 23, 2022

If the police executed a search warrant or otherwise searched you and took your property – do not worry, you can get it back from the police with the help of a Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney helped to get your property back – whether it is a gun, money, documents or anything else. Please be mindful that your time to get your property back is limited, especially if you were served with a notice of forfeiture.

First, you can get your property back to you if the police who took the property agree to release it to you. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney was able to get the client’s property back many times by convincing the prosecution not to file a criminal case and then getting the police to release the property.

If the police is unwilling to release the property, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney can file a motion with the court. Getting a court order to release the property will convince the police to return the seized property.

In the case of a search warrant, only a judge can authorize the release of the property that was lawfully seized pursuant to a search warrant. This is because such property, although in the custody of officers, is being held on behalf of the judge who signed the warrant. See Penal Code §§ 1523, 1536; Oziel v. Superior Court (1990) 223 Cal.App.3d 1284, 1292-3; People v. Icenogle (1985) 164 Cal.App.3d 620, 623. ALSO SEE People v. Lamonte (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 544 [re nonstatutory motion for the return of property]. However, if the property seized is not described in the search warrant, the police might have to return that property because it is not held “on behalf of the judge”.

See also People v. Superior Court (Laff) (2001) 25 Cal.4th 703, 713 [“Law enforcement officials who seize property pursuant to a warrant issued by the court do so on behalf of the court, which has authority pursuant to Penal Code section 1536 to control the disposition of the property. . . . [T]he superior court possesses the inherent power to conduct proceedings and issue orders regarding property seized from a criminal suspect pursuant to a warrant issued by the court.”]; Penal Code § 1536; Oziel v. Superior Court (1990) 223 Cal.App.3d 1284, 1293; People v. Von Villas (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 201, 239.

Thus for property that was taken by the police, Los Angeles Criminal Attorney can file a motion to get it back. This motion will cover registered guns (cannot release unregistered guns), money, etc. Los Angeles Criminal Attorney can have the court return all seized property unless it is held for evidence or is contraband is believed to be the product of illegal activity.

For any other questions specific to criminal law, please contact Criminal Defense Attorney Directly at (818) 921-7744.

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