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If property was taken as evidence on a criminal case on the day of the arrest- can it be retrieved after the case was dismissed?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was arrested on a misdemeanor in CA and my property (phone) was confiscated at the scene of the crime. After going to court for a few months and a trial was set up the victim (witness) did not come on the day of trial so my case was dismissed. With my case being dismissed can i get my phone back?

...and if I can get my phone back, what do I have to do?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You said that you went to court for a few months, that a trial was set and your case was dismissed. Did you represent yourself or did you have a lawyer? If you had a lawyer, he should be able to advise you as to how to get your property back.

    At the conclusion of a case, the defendant can make a motion for the return of non-contraband property. The motion usually must be written (but in some courts may be made orally). The judge will decide if the property can be returned after hearing argument in the motion.

    Notice of this could have been done at the last court date. You should contact your attorney and ask him if he is willing to file a motion for the return of property for you. If not, you can hire another attorney who is familiar with the procedure. Many offer free consultations. Good luck.


  2. Dismissed with or without prejudice? How can you tell they are not actively looking for the victim (witness) right now? Why are you hot for the return of the phone? Does it have evidence of other , perhaps BIGGER crimes? (don't answer). Why not forget the phone and hope that it gets buried, crushed, burned and electromagnetically fried? Why are you calling attention to it. Phone privacy is a big issue and California has none, see below: People v. Nottoli

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.


  3. Yes, at the end of the proceedings you may request that all evidence confiscated be returned. The general rule is that any evidence that is legal to have, i.e. guns, computers, cars, etcetera can be returned. Drugs are not returned unless it's a prescription drug in which you have a prescription.

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    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.

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