Asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for New Mexico

Q: How long can the police hold your property if they haven't done anything with it to get evidence off of it?

In 2020 my boyfriend was shot the cops took my dvr to get evidence off of it but haven't and I can't use my cameras for my safety without it. I have called left messages and nothing. My house has been broken into and I can't use my cameras. They have not done what they told me they were going to do with it and that is get a person to unlock it so they can see who shot him to press charges.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New Mexico, as in other states, the length of time the police can hold property as evidence can vary. Generally, law enforcement can retain it as long as it is considered relevant to an ongoing investigation or until the related criminal case is resolved. However, if you feel that an unreasonable amount of time has passed, you have the right to contact the police department and inquire about the status of your property. If your requests are unmet or ignored, you may consider filing a motion with the court asking for the return of your property, especially if it's essential for your safety. It's often beneficial to seek the assistance of an attorney who can guide you through this process and represent your interests to ensure that your rights are protected. Keep records of all your interactions with the police for your reference and possible legal actions. Remember, the return of property can sometimes be expedited with proper legal intervention.

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