Clarkston, WA asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Idaho

Q: How long can police keep phone as evidence?

I got pulled over driving with suspended

Police ran a drug dog and it hit on passenger said, they searched and nothing (known ex dealer) I had both my babies in car . They then took me to jail and book and release only to return to my car and no phone, no idea what was taken, no clue they took anything. Called found out they had the phone and it’s in evidence and won’t return it because he’s trying to revive a warrent to look thru it. How long can he keep my phone and is it legal that I didn’t receive a inventory of everything they took? Why can they keep it for driving on suspended

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin M Rogers
Kevin M Rogers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Boise, ID
  • Licensed in Idaho

A: Police can legally hold "evidence of a crime," for a long as it takes for them to prosecute the passenger and convict him AND for his appeal time (42 days) to run. After that, it should just take a phone call to the Sheriff's Property Locker, for you to retrieve your phone. Be careful though, if your phone had the bf's prints on it, or messages implicating bf (and you?), then I would kiss that phone good-bye. You don't need it that bad. If the cop gets a warrant to go through the phone, what will they find? Hopefully, NOTHING which ties you to the passenger's drug activity! On the other hand, if your answer to my question is: "they won't find anything about me or drugs on it," then my advice is to wait until bf's case is all done, and his appeal time has run, and then call the property desk and see if they will just give the phone back to you. Good luck!

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