Property & Evidence

Lost or found property, and items seized as evidence during criminal investigations are kept for periods of time mandated by state law, court orders, or local policies and procedures. Appointments with the Property Technician are required for the return of property.

Common Topics

When evidence items are ready to be released, we will make an attempt to notify the owner via U.S. mail. If unclaimed, ultimately the property will be disposed of or destroyed according to law.

5150 & 8102 Welfare & Institutions Code

Weapons have been seized pursuant to the law. The city may initiate a petition in the Riverside County Superior Court to determine whether the return of your weapons would result in endangering yourself or others. If the city initiates a petition, you have 30 days to file a written response requesting a hearing date with the Court Clerk of the Riverside County Superior Court. If you do not respond to the clerk within 30 days, your confiscated weapon will be forfeited. All other property will be disposed of after 90 days.

Asset Forfeiture (11470 Health & Safety Code)

Items seized are subject to forfeiture. Contact the Property Technician for information.

Felony Arrest Cases

Evidence items will be held for 60 days from the date of sentencing. Then items will be disposed of or destroyed according to law unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Found Property

Items will be held for 90 days. After 90 days, finders may contact the Property Technician for information on how to claim property. Unclaimed items will be disposed of or destroyed according to law.

If No Arrest Has Been Made / No Suspect Identified

Evidence items may be held up to one year or longer depending on the status of the case.

Misdemeanor Arrest Cases

Evidence will be held only until the date of sentencing, then items will be disposed of or destroyed according to law.

Safekeeping

Items will be held for 60 days for pick-up by the owner. Items not claimed within 60 days will be disposed of or destroyed according to law.

Search Warrant

Contact the Property Technician regarding return of property seized. Penal Code Section 1536 requires a court order to release property held by a search warrant.

Stolen or Embezzled Property

Property that has been taken from you which is allegedly stolen or embezzled. Pursuant to Penal Code Section 1413, upon the filing of a Declaration of Ownership, and after you have been given an opportunity to be heard on the matter, the property may be turned over to the person claiming to be the true owner.

If criminal charges are filed, you may ask the court that hears the case to review the decision of this department concerning the return of the property. You have 15 days from the date of this notice to assert any rights you may have in the property taken from you. If you choose to waive your rights, such action may not be held against you in any criminal proceedings. You must notify the property technician in writing within 15 days of this notice if you wish to make a claim.

Weapons Seized Due to Domestic Violence

The weapon has been held as required by the court of law. The weapon will be made available 48 hours after the seizure or as soon thereafter as possible, but no later than 72 hours after the seizure. A criminal records check may delay the release. Providing that no other restriction exists (i.e. 12021, 12021(c)(1) or a restraining order). Any incidents of domestic violence will require a Department of Justice check which may take three weeks.

Firearm Fees

All firearms held at the Murrieta Police Department will be charged a firearm storage fee in accordance with California penal code section 33880(a) and the City of Murrieta fee schedule. The City of Murrieta fee schedule calls for a one-time $84 processing fee (per firearm) and a $26 per month (per firearm) storage fee. All fees accumulate and shall be paid prior to release of the firearm. 

Firearms not claimed after 180 days are subject to destruction per California Penal Code 33875 which reads “no law enforcement agency or court shall be required to retain a firearm for more than 180 days after the owner of the firearm has been notified by the court or law enforcement agency that the firearm has been made available for return”. Firearm fees do not apply to recovered stolen firearms.

Please refer to the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms website for additional legal information regarding firearms.