I was pulled over on July 2ed, and had 2 laptops taken from my car. I was never charged with a traffic violation. The police then asked a 3ed party to search my computers for any illegal items.

Full story ;

I was driving a 2 friends of a friend home in the early afternoon. I didn’t fully stop at a stop sign, and a police cruiser pulled me over. I was on a suspended license, and was cuffed and put in a holding cell for 3 hours. The police took 2 laptop computers from my car, and asked one of the passengers parents permission to search it. The police then obtained a search warrant to search the second laptop, and then a warrant for my house, and all computer related items.

I was never charged with a traffic violation (it’s been over 3 months now, and statute of limitations is up for traffic (30 days)). Since I was never charged with a traffic violation, does that mean they took my laptops illegally??
I already have a lawyer, but want to get a second opinion from others…

My lawyer is waiting till the police file criminal charges against me.

I’ve already had a “Motion to Return Seized Property” hearing, but the ADA in the case asked for it to be continued becuase if it were allowed to go forward, it would hinder their investigation… the judge granted the motion, but then reversed it, and it’s set for 3 weeks from now.

The police knew they did wrong, and are trying to cover them selves… I just want my computers back, as I need them for my work (I’m a photographer… they took everything, printers, moniters, mice, keyboards, software)
Timeline :

July 2ed, pulled over, 2 laptops removed from car, and car towed. (occupants of car – me, uncle, 2 friends who were under 18)

July 5th, told Detective both laptops were mine. (spoke to detective to try to get my stuff back)

July 10th, police ask one of the passengers mothers to search laptop that belongs to me. She was not in the car, nor even in the same city where the car was pulled over.

July 15th, police obtain search warrant to search other laptop.

Aug 16th, police obtain search warrant for all computer items in my house.

Aug 29th, Motion to Return Sized Property asked for continuance, granted.

Aug 31st, continuance reversed, set for 3ed week of Oct.
From what I’m understanding, the police thought I was some huge internet pedophile, but when nothing turned up on that part, they went and looked for pirated software.

They thought that my windows was pirated since the first one they looked at had the XP Home sticker (I had purchaced XP Pro and upgraded it, just never put the sticker on the computer), and the second one Vista Home Premium (agian, upgraded to Vista Ultimate, legit, but never put the sticker on)

They’ve taken over 1600 CD-R’s of music (my wife’s, and it’s Japanese Pop music, not enforcable by the RIAA)… as well as all my program CD’s/DVD’s (some backups, but all legitly purchaced)

They are saying that one of my models is under age, but they seized a photocopy of her birth certificate and drivers license in the raid on my house…
on Monday, the 1st, it will have been 13 weeks since the traffic stop. I have not be en charged with ANYTHING.

Here is exactly what happened on July 2ed.

Picked up my uncle to view the parade in town. the 2 passengers saw me and my uncle, and asked for a ride home, since they did not want to walk. after the parade, I proceeded to drive my uncle home. I didn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign (rolling stop). officer pulls me over, 100 or so feet from my uncles house. He comes up to the window, sees the 4 of us in the car, asks for my license. I told him, I don’t have it on me, and give him my name. He goes back to his car, radios the information, and comes back. Asks me to step out, cuffs me, and places me in his car. He allows my uncle to walk home, and places the other 2 passengers in a second car. takes the 2 laptops out of my back seat, then drives to the police station. I am held for about 3 1/2 hours, and let go, minus my computers. I pay the fee for the car
being towed, and go home. I haven’t been charged, or read my rights.

I wait 3 days (July 4th holiday)… on July 5th, I try to get my stuff back from the police station, and they tell me I’m never getting it back. I then proceed to the court house, and speak to a detective, and tell him that both computers are mine, and I would like them back, as they are part of my work. I wait, and wait and wait. On Aug 16th, I am out shopping, and the police raid my house with a search warrant, and that is when I find out that 5 days after I said both computers were mine, they asked a 3ed party to search my computers. If they had reasonable cause to seize them, why did they wait 8 days to ask a 3ed party to look at it? Wouldn’t they have asked the day it was seized?

There is nothing they can get me for, yet they are saying they have criminal charges they CAN press, but haven’t yet. They told a judge this, not me. after 13 weeks, how much longer should I wait? what is a REASONALBE time???
You all have answered great, but everything everyone has said is already covered…

They didn’t ask to search the car, they just took the items from the car. Then they towed it.

They never got permission to search the laptop from the owner of the laptop to start the case… (see July 5th and July 10th above)

The statue for charging me for suspended licence is 30 days, and it’s been 13 weeks, 1 day. Well over, and they never did (no warrant is out, laywer already checked)

I never gave permission to search anything… car, laptop, nothing… they asked one of the passengers mothers, becuase they thought one belonged to them, but I told the detective 5 days before they searched that both were mine.