Should I and How to file a Motion for return of property to get my money back?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Houston, TX

I was involved with a domestic fight with my girlfriend at her apt. She left I remained at the apt and the Harris County Sheriffs Dept came to my door and said they had to do a "safety check" to make sure there's nobody hurt in the house. They found cocaine(which the didn't charge me with) and less then 20z of Marijuana. There was never any marijuana in the house but yet I was charged with POM class B. They seized 4000.00 USD and some seeds. Today the case was dismissed for insufficient evidence.Go figure since there was never any marijuana. Now if I file a motion for return of property will that work? I know I dont need a lawyer to do so right?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. M Elizabeth Foley

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . I'd tend to agree with Mr Moore that from the way you describe it, the search at least might be bad, but I also have the feeling there's probably a whole lot more to this that might affect the situation. Some factors might be: Where did this $4k come from? (If from your person or belongings, you're probably the only one with a possible claim, but if from the apartment itself the assumption would be that your girlfriend at least might have a claim on it). Also, did the State file a civil asset forfeiture case? (They'd have to do that in a district court within 30 days of the seizure). It's pretty unlikely they would have even tried to base an asset forfeiture case on 2 oz of weed, though there could be something there with the cocaine. You're only going to be able to get somewhere with a motion to return property if there is no civil or criminal case pending or anticipated where the money might be either seized for forefiture or needed for evidence in the criminal case. You can certainly try, and see what they tell you if they won't release it. I would suggest getting an attorney, though.

  2. Richard Timothy Jones

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . You may not need to file a motion. Contact the arresting agency and request a return of your property. Be prepared to provide a certified copy of the dismissal. If this fails, contact a local attorney for assistance.

    This is intended as only general legal advice. Feel to visit my website, www.austincriminaldefenseattorney.com... more
  3. William Tyler Moore Jr

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . You need to get an attorney to file a motion to release the money. I'll bet the weed case was dismissed because the search was bad, i.e. lack of probable cause.

  4. Richard Keith Oliver

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Try calling the arresting agency to request your property be returned. Have a certified copy of the dismissal prepared to show them (you can get a certified copy of the dismissal from the District Clerk's Office in the county where the case was filed). If the cops refuse to turn over your property, hire a lawyer to file a motion requesting the same. The Judge will sign an Order that requires them to turn it over. Only caveat is the possibility the cops or DAs will try and have the cash forfeited, but if you haven't been served with a civil petition, they may not be moving forward with that kind of case.

    Best of luck.

    Rick

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