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What Happens If Your Property Is Confiscated In NC?

If you know someone whose property has been confiscated by the police during an arrest, you understand the hard time they are going through. Your loved one could be thinking about how to get their property back from the police, as the confiscated belongings may contain important items. 

When your family member is arrested by police in North Carolina or is subject to an investigation, the police may take the belongings he/she has in possession as potential evidence. During this time, you may be looking for legal counsel and seeking ways to ensure the return of property seized by police. You may also wonder whether your loved one will be charged with a crime. For the property to be returned, it depends on four reasons the police seized it: contraband, safekeeping, forfeiture or evidence.

The Return of Property Seized by Police in North Carolina

Having property confiscated can cause worry and stress without knowing when it will get back to the rightful owner. Your friend or family member may not be able to access the property after it has been confiscated, depending on the reason. For personal items such as photographs, the police will give them back as long as they are not a key component of a case. For other items not returned, your family member can make an application for return of property from police. 

You may be wondering what the procedure is if property such as cars or personal effects like money are confiscated. When this happens, the police will issue a voucher as a receipt. It is important to keep this voucher safe. On some occasions, some individuals may not be given vouchers as they will be taken to a booking facility while the police prepare the papers. Upon release, they can return to the precinct where the arrest occurred. Once there, your friend or family member will be asked a couple of questions by the police, and the attorney should have all the information if your loved one doesn’t. The questions include the date of arrest, the name of the officer who conducted the arrest, and the arrest number.

If your family member is given a wrong voucher or one with missing details, the police can fix this before it is signed. The right to the missing items is forfeited if a voucher is signed while incomplete. If the signing was done in haste without realizing something was missing, your family member’s lawyer can request the items. Furthermore, the voucher needs to include the reason why the police confiscated the property;


When your loved one possesses illegal items, it is considered a crime and the property is contraband. Contraband includes illegal drugs, fake credit cards or money, forged paperwork, unlicensed handguns or switchblade knives. In North Carolina, contraband is used as evidence in their case until it is concluded. Your loved one’s lawyer may inspect them before their trial and argue whether they were lawful possessions or illegally seized or searched for. 


At times, the police can safekeep your loved one’s property to avoid it from being stolen. The return of property seized by police happens after release. The items put away can include jewelry, medication, money, or an impounded vehicle. Using the voucher issued as a receipt, your loved one can get his/her property back once released.


Acquiring property from criminal activity in North Carolina can lead to forfeiture. Your friend or family member does not need to undergo arrest or be charged in the process. If they lose during the court case, failing to prove the items were used or obtained legally, law enforcement can keep the property permanently or sell it. Property or items that can lead to forfeiture include a vehicle driven by an unlicensed, drunk or reckless driver, equipment used during a break-in, or money that would be exchanged for illegal drugs.


Property that is the product of a crime or used in a crime can be held temporarily by state prosecutors. If your friend or family member wore a hat identifying them as a person who committed a crime, law enforcement can hold the hat as evidence. Holding the evidence can also take place even if your loved one has not been arrested, as long as it is suspected as evidence used during a crime. 

An attorney can reclaim the property for you by filing a motion to release property held as evidence. After the criminal case is over, the police department in the North Carolina county your loved one is located in will send them a letter. The letter will include information on the property being ready to be reclaimed. Your loved one can take the letter and a photo ID issued by the government to the police department’s Property and Evidence Division to reclaim the property. However, the property may not be released until the case investigator approves.

Compassionate Bail Bondsman in North Carolina

Getting property back after a search warrant can be tricky. Your loved one may or may not get it back. Whether the property was used in or is related to criminal activity, it can be hard to reclaim it before trial. When arrested, the court will give a hearing date and provide a bail amount. Before setting the amount, a judge will look into your friend or family member’s history and character and whether the crime was violent, nonviolent, or related to drugs. The judge will also look into whether he/she faces a threat to society upon release.

If your loved one is arrested, you may be looking for a reliable and trusted company that can provide surety bail bonds to get them out of jail. You need compassionate, efficient, run & done services that will have them back home soon. At Apex Bail Bonds, we can provide the relief you need. With our 24/7 bail hotline, various bail bond financing options and custom payment plans, we will help get you through this difficult time. 

To speak to a reliable bondsman, contact Apex Bail Bonds today.

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