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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    27

    Default What Happens to Evidence from Crimes

    If the police dept seized a bunch of property that they believed to be stolen, but eventually cannot prove that any of it is, what happens to it? Does it just get returned to the person charged with the crime? Or do they just keep it forever? I'm not referring to illegal items, I'm referring to electronics like tv's, laptops, ipods, and other things like a big rolling toolbox and random other things. Like do they have to prove something came from somewhere or they can just believe it was stolen at some point and they keep it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: What Happens to Evidence from Crimes

    If the police cannot find the owner, it will be sold at auction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    27

    Default Re: What Happens to Evidence from Crimes

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
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    If the police cannot find the owner, it will be sold at auction.
    yea but what if they cannot prove it was stolen? Do they auction it off anyway?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: What Happens to Evidence from Crimes

    Laws vary by state as to how agencies may dispose of what kind of property.

    What state are you in?

    In general, if the police have something in their possession without an owner, they can dispose of it as the law and agency policy see fit. Very often there is a lengthy time period the property must be held. If it is found property it might be held for as little as 30 days whereas some items of possible evidence might be held indefinitely or at least until after the time for appeals have passed when a conviction has occurred. Many items can be released to a legal owner after documenting and photographing the item(s).

    But, it all depends on state law and the individual agency's policy on property.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: What Happens to Evidence from Crimes

    During any trial they would have to prove that specific items were stolen, and to do that, of course, they need to know who the owner is. The burdern of proof is on the state.

    If you plead, your plea will likely include the forfeiture of all the property.

    If you win at a trial on some of the items or all of them, the state has to release the property back to you. The procedure and time limits for that will depend on state law and country procedure.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: What Happens to Evidence from Crimes

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    Laws vary by state as to how agencies may dispose of what kind of property.

    What state are you in?

    In general, if the police have something in their possession without an owner, they can dispose of it as the law and agency policy see fit. Very often there is a lengthy time period the property must be held. If it is found property it might be held for as little as 30 days whereas some items of possible evidence might be held indefinitely or at least until after the time for appeals have passed when a conviction has occurred. Many items can be released to a legal owner after documenting and photographing the item(s).

    But, it all depends on state law and the individual agency's policy on property.
    This is in NY state and referring to property that the police believe to be stolen but may not be. They seized the property because they think it may be stolen but if they cannot show who/where it was stolen from then I imagine it would be returned.

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