Property / Evidence
The primary function of this section is to provide for the security and control of all seized, recovered and evidentiary property as well as abandoned, lost or found property.
Generally, Texas law governs how property is to be handled, stored, and released.
The property/evidence section handles 15,000-20,000 pieces of property/evidence annually. At the same time, the section is also responsible for maintaining the continued custody of items collected from past cases and the destruction of items in the case of adjudication.
The method of collecting and submitting property is paramount for the successful prosecution of a case. Officers follow guidelines for preparing, labeling and recording property. If it is sent to the lab for analysis, the District Attorney’s Office for court, another agency for comparison, or viewed by an attorney or officer it must be carefully tracked to maintain the integrity of the item.
The Evidence Technicians have the responsibility for ensuring accountability of every item at all times. A bar code system and electronic tracking software are used to monitor and track an item’s every move. The integrity of the chain of custody is audited, both formally by outside auditors as well as internal spot inspections.
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
- Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Due to the large number of items we handle each day and the number of requests we receive, we operate by appointment only. We can only release property after the case has been adjudicated or otherwise disposed, if the officer no longer needs the items as evidence in a case, or with a court order. Found property can be released when ownership of lost/abandoned property is established or when the statutory holding requirements have been met. If you are requesting an item to be released please be prepared to establish ownership or verify the statutory requirement as been met.
REQUIREMENTS FOR COLLECTING PROPERTY
YOU MUST HAVE CURRENT IDENTIFICATION TO PICK UP PROPERTY AND BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE.
- Any government ID, including official Police ID
- State issued ID (ex., Driver’s License or ID Card)
- Student Photo ID
- Inmate ID
WHY MUST I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO CLAIM MY PROPERTY?
Appointments are scheduled so that a property technician can be made available to handle your case on a one on one basis without interruption. The property technicians may be in court, transporting evidence to a crime lab or may be viewing evidence with an attorney, or investigator. Your appointment ensures we have the item pulled and ready to be released when you arrive.
WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG FOR ME TO GET MY PROPERTY BACK?
Property booked in as evidence of a crime is held for 90 days past the date of sentencing or dismissal. If no charges are filed, property is held until the statute of limitations has expired (3 years for most felony cases, 2 year for misdemeanor cases) or the investigator of the case authorizes the release of the property, whichever is sooner. If a firearm is among the items requested, a background investigation must be conducted in order to verify that the legal owner is eligible to possess the weapon. This may be accomplished within one day or, depending on the background of the owner, may require additional paperwork. If the property was taken under a search warrant, a court order is required to release the property.