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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Default Police Searched My Lost Wallet

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: KS. So I lost my wallet and someone returned it to the campus police. They searched it and didnít find my fake ID in it but someone elseís and I was charged with a Misdemeanor B. Will this hold up in a court?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,204

    Default Re: Police Searched My Lost Wallet

    Quote Quoting Odawg2020
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    My question involves criminal law for the state of: KS. So I lost my wallet and someone returned it to the campus police. They searched it and didn’t find my fake ID in it but someone else’s and I was charged with a Misdemeanor B. Will this hold up in a court?
    If you are asking whether the search was valid the answer is that it might be. All the details of the search matter, and we don't have those here. First, of course, is the issue of whether the police obtained a warrant for the search. If the police did not have a warrant for the search, then the state has to show that an exception to the warrant requirement is met. Courts have generally recognized that people have an expectation of privacy with respect to the contents of their wallets and purses but when a wallet or purse is lost that expectation of privacy is diminished a bit in that the owner would expect the wallet or purse to be examined to look for information regarding who the owner is, e.g. some kind of ID, so that the lost item may be returned to the owner. So a warrantless of your wallet that was limited in scope to find ID of the owner would generally be permitted, and if in the course of that limited search a fake ID or ID belonging to someone else is found, that may be evidence that could be used against the owner of the wallet. So where in your wallet this ID was located in relation to your real ID and the extent to which the police searched that wallet would be significant here. In short, the search might be good, but more facts are needed to make a good conclusion on whether you might succeed in a motion to suppress.

    There are other things to consider in working out a possible defense, too. You didn't say what the particular charge against you is, and that matters because the state will have to prove each element of that offense to a jury if the case goes to trial. Perhaps the state will lack evidence to support one or more of those elements, or you have evidence of your own to rebut what the state has.

    This is all stuff that your attorney would look at when coming up with a defense for you and advising you on the best outcome you can get out of this. Since you are charged with a Class B misdemeanor, you really should have a lawyer for this. You can get a sentence of up to 6 months in jail on that sort of charge in Kansas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Police Searched My Lost Wallet

    Quote Quoting Odawg2020
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    My question involves criminal law for the state of: KS. So I lost my wallet and someone returned it to the campus police. They searched it and didnít find my fake ID in it but someone elseís and I was charged with a Misdemeanor B. Will this hold up in a court?
    There are two legal forces to contend with, the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and Kansas' state constitutional search and seizure dictates. My guess is an attorney will focus more on state protections. I don't know of any decision by the U.S. Supreme court which are centered on a "lost wallet", only in general search decisions like an inventory search, only here it was lost property, not on a person arrested.

    Lost property is legally different from abandoned or mislaid property. So as TM stated, is the same reasonable expectation of privacy afforded lost items in which a warrantless search is not permitted?

    They could have secured a warrant or labeled it for the property room until it was claimed, as it is quite apparent no emergency or exigent circumstances existed to authorize an immediate search.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,230

    Default Re: Police Searched My Lost Wallet

    TM, did you report the three duplicates for deletion?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,686

    Default Re: Police Searched My Lost Wallet

    Here's are a few simple questions for you:

    How would the police have identified whose wallet it was without searching through it?

    What is the specific statute you have been charged with violating?

    Why were you in possession of not only your fake ID, but also someone else's?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,864

    Default Re: Police Searched My Lost Wallet

    8-1327(a) no doubt. It's a class B misdemeanor (6 months / $1000). If you're charged, you need an attorney.

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