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

Houston, TX |
Filed under: Criminal defense

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

Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

It's been over 30 days and I called the DA personally and they say there isn't anything civil pending against me having to do with that case. I contacted HCSO and they said I had to goto the district clerk and file. They said I could so it alone but I'm afraid I'll get denied for not having a lawyer since they literally force you to have a lawyer in Harris county. Now I have to pay to get my money back....the irony lol

Posted

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 for my blog on crime and punishment in Texas You may also email me through my site.

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Posted

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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