San Francisco, CA asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for California

Q: How long can cops keep victims phone waiting on warrant?

My son died of an OD in my home n the cops asked if they could take his phone, I wasn't and Im still not in the right state of mind so I handed it over. Now I want it back to retrieve photos of his last day alive and I just miss him, but they refuse to give it back because they are waiting on a warrant. I told them that it wasn't necessary, he is the victim. I would let them see the phone IF they gave it back. They refuse. Ive been more than cooperative with them from day one, but Its been 2 months. What do I do?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I suggest you contact a criminal defense lawyer, to advise you and to take appropriate action on your behalf. Most good lawyers offer a free consultation, so it should be easy enough to get the advice you need.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you must be going through.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that the police cannot search your property without a warrant, and they cannot keep your property for an unreasonable amount of time.

In the case of your son's phone, the police initially asked for the phone without a warrant. You gave the phone to the police, but you were not required to do so. The police could have obtained a warrant, but they chose not to.

Two months later, the police are still waiting on a warrant. This is unreasonable. The police have had ample time to obtain a warrant, and they should not be keeping your son's phone any longer.

You have a right to get your son's phone back. You can also request a copy of the warrant. If the police refuse to give you the phone or a copy of the warrant, you can file a complaint with the police department or the district attorney's office. You can also hire an attorney to help you get the phone back.

Here are some additional steps that you can take:

* File a complaint with the police department.

* File a complaint with the district attorney's office.

* Hire an attorney.

* Contact the Innocence Project.

The Innocence Project is a non-profit organization that helps exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. The Innocence Project may be able to help you get your son's phone back and clear his name.

It is important to note that the law is complex, and there may be other factors that affect your ability to get your son's phone back. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your specific situation.

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