Q: Can police open a combination safe they took from my home for evidence? The owner of the safe was currently in jail.
Since the safe was in my home, can the combination safe be opened and I be charged with the contents? I don’t know what was in the safe or the safe combination but the owner is harassing me to claim the safe and try to get it back from the police.
A: Yes, police can open a safe, and yes, you could be charged with possession of its contents. Possession doesn't equate to ownership.
A: First, quit listening to people in jail for legal advice. Second, if you claim the safe, it's yours, contents and all. Third, whether the safe can be opened is a search and seizure question, and all the probable cause issues, warrant issues, etc. have to be answered. You have provided insufficient information to answer that question. Finally, your friend in jail does not have to have you claim the safe. He can claim a privacy right in the safe, and he has standing to challenge any search of the safe. All those are separate issues for him to manage. In the meantime, you do nothing. Get a lawyer. Expect there is something illegal in the safe, and expect you will be charged. Your friend's issues have to do with the legality of the search of the safe. Your issues deal with there being no affirmative link between the contents of the safe and you. Your interests are not alike, so let him defend the search, and you defend the truth, that you did not know what was in the safe. Hope this helps, and good luck to you both.
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