Can police take money from your wallet without consent?

Asked over 2 years ago - Manchester, NH

After DUI arrest was taken to get breathalyzed. During release form signing $40 bail was requested which i indicated i did not have. While working out alternative method with bail bondsman officer forcefully took $40 out of wallet and handed it over to bondsman.

Is this legal?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Leonard D. Harden

    Contributor Level 9

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    Best Answer
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    Answered . The only way i believe the search would be legal was if it was pursuant to an inventory policy. Generally, the officer has no right to go through your wallet. It is likely an illegal search and seizure. However, i am not sure that it really results in any benefit to you. The bail fee was owed to the commissioner for appearing to bail you out. You would have had to arrange payment to him later. If you had previously promised the $40 or were holding someone else money you now simply must repay that person instead of the commissioner.

    You should contact a lawyer about the DWI charge.

  2. Mark L. Stevens

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The short answer is "no". The police can count your money, inventory your possessions, etc. in the interests of "protecting your property" while you are locked up. They cannot steal money from you or decide how you should spend your money for you.

    Note this answer is general in nature and does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship.
  3. Robert C. LeBrasseur

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The search might have been in violation of your rights but what is the remedy? It does not should like anything would be suppress from this encounter at trial. You could be bring a lawsuit for violation of your rights but what are your damages?

    My response to your question is a generic response and should not be construed as controlling to your case. I can... more

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