You should check with your attorney before making a request to have any property released to your possession. How to get your property back depends on whether the property was taken as contraband or for safekeeping, evidence/investigation, or forfeiture.

  1. SAFEKEEPING: Upon request by the property’s rightful owner or his appointed representative the law enforcement agency property clerk should release property taken for safekeeping. If you are held in custody while your case is pending, property held for safekeeping can be obtained by a friend or relative who has your receipt, a notarized letter from you which authorizes that friend or relative to claim your property, and proper identification. You may also apply for the return of your property by mail.
  2. FORFEITURE: If the property is being held for forfeiture, you have a right to notice and a hearing prior to the property being permanently taken from you. You should consult with your attorney to assist you with the forfeiture process.
  3. EVIDENCE: If the property is being held as evidence, you will first need an order from the court to release property.
  4. CONTRABAND: Property that is illegal to possess, like narcotics that you have without a prescription, will not be returned.