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Can police take your money?
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Can police take your money?

I know someone that got arrested and when he went to jail they took the money out of his wallet and never gave it back. Is this right? Or is it some kind of punishment? Thanks so much!

Johana M
dude ur stupid...of course thats not right! police cant take ur money!

No it is not right, it is STEALING.

First thing I think is worth pointing out is that you evidently have no first-hand knowledge of this situation, and are relying entirely on what you've been told. Bad practice, in my experience...but there we are.

There are a number of different possibilties. Theft, I would not think, is very likely...most people working in jails are probably not going to consider stealing a few bucks from someone and risk their own freedom to do so. Could happen, but I doubt it.

You've said the arrest was not drug-related. Okay. Not sure how you know that, but okay. If that's true, then I would not expect the money to have been seized pursuant to any kind of asset forfeiture proceedings.

It's possible, depending on what state you're in, that the money could have been seized to satisfy some kind of debt. At one time in California, we seized any and all money on the person of someone we arrested pursuant to a "failure to provide" warrant...deadbeat dads, in other words.

Perhaps some jails keep and then release actual cash to prisoners, but all jails I know of take the money in, deposit it into an account, and then write the inmate a check when he gets out. Perhaps your friend hasn't located his check.

It's also possible he didn't have any money when he "checked in"...I've had people swear up and down to me that they had X amount of dollars on them when they were arrested and once we got to talking about it prior to booking, they realized they'd spent it, loaned it, never had it, or lost it before they were arrested.

Can the police take your money? Yes. 99.99% of the time, it's done perfectly legally. It would be foolish of me to say that there's no possibility it was stolen, but I'd think it very unlikely. Maybe this person needs to recontact the booking facility and start a little more discussion than what's already been had.

The money was probably confiscated as evidence, a receipt for the money wouldn't be necessary since it would be included in the narrative of the police report.

My friend said this happened to him, at first I didn't believe that the police had taken some of his money until a neighbor said the same thing happened. But how can you prove it?

tim w
the police can and do anything they want. that neither makes it right or legal but thanks to g w bush they have free reign to go out ther and make us safer. god bless america

Susan G
Certain jurisdictions can seize every bit of money on a person, in their car and in their home (depending on where the arrest is made) if the police find drugs. The money is donated to charity.

it depends if it was drug money, or money that was being used for other criminal activity.

No. It stealing.

Bottom line: Can you prove this allegation? If you can, I would take the evidence to the Internal Affairs Dept.
If not - I guess it's the perfect crime.

First alot will depend on why arrested, if it was a drug charge, normally any money on that person can be ( not always done) but can be also taken as evidence along with the drugs.

But at booking, his wallet and other things will be put into personal inventory and he should get it back by asking when he gets released from jail

No they can't but there is no way to prove it. It's the cops and jails word against a criminal. The only time money can be taken is if it is for an investigation... For example drug money.

Jon B
Was this in Mexico? If so, than yes. America? No.

They can keep it only if they inventory it and then subsequently file a motion for forfeiture (on the grounds that the forfeitted $$ was used in furtherance of a crime or was the proceeds of criminal activity). Otherwise is must be catalogued and returned.

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