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VIC Mobile Phone Seized by Police - How to Get It Back?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by harrasedbyblue, 12 November 2015.

  1. harrasedbyblue

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    Hi there, S was at their friend's house the the other day not knwoing he was about to sell drugs to someone until the police (crime command) division of the Victoria police raided the house with a search warrant.

    Now S had no knowledge of drug deals taking place and hasn't got any drug history with his criminal record. Now he was told to sit still, not touch his mobile phone or call anyone. He even asked if he was under arrest and they said not yet. They demanded he unlock his mobile phone for them to go through it or else he would be charged and would be going to jail until the matter goes to court under their new legislation, which gives them the power to unlock your mobile phone.

    He did what the police demanded and the mobile phone was then seized so they can look though it at a later date. He didn't get any paperwork at all from the police, just his card with the cop's name on it and was told to go home.

    Can they do this legally under Criminal Law? S is currently on disibililty support pension and needs his phone. Can someone help with how to get it back?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi harrassedbyblue,

    Generally property that has been seized by police should be returned to you after 7 days, if no one is charged in relation to the matter or after 7 days after someone is convicted on the charges. I would contact the police station and talk with them about the phone and whether it is still required as evidence or not, and when you can expect it to be returned to you.

    Here is an article about police powers of search and seizure:
    Police Search and Seize Powers – Do You Know Your Rights? (VIC) - Legal Blog - LawAnswers.com.au
     
  3. harrasedbyblue

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    Thanks for your reply Sofia

    As far as I'm aware the person who owned the house has been arrested, charged and bailed on the same day 6 hours after the warrant was issued. I was never on the warrant nor was I arrested and I wasn't given any paperwork, just his card with his phone number. Wouldn't this fall under a civil matter that no paperwork was handed to me?
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    I"m not 100% on police processes but I think its something you could definitely discuss with the officer that took your phone. If there is nothing incriminating on the phone and it doesn't assist their case in any way, then they should be able to return it.
     

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