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If law enforcement successfully recovered your property as part of a criminal investigation, the property is likely being held as evidence by the law enforcement agency that recovered it. Such property is usually held by law enforcement until it is no longer required as evidence. This can be several weeks to several months depending on the nature of the crime and the time it takes to bring the criminal case to a conclusion.
Once the property is no longer required as evidence, it can be released to its owner. Sometimes property can be released to its owner while a criminal case is pending, but these are rare circumstances and the County Attorney must approve of such a release.
If you suffered a monetary loss, either from a property crime or a crime involving bodily injury, our office can ask a defendant to pay that loss back in the form of restitution. We will need proof of the exact amount of the loss. However, even if our office requests restitution, the court must make a determination that the defendant has the ability to pay the amount requested. In the alternative, a person who suffers a loss may contact a private attorney to discuss what other options are available to collect the loss.
It may be necessary to hold your property as potential evidence to be offered at trial. Once the proceedings have concluded, the property may be released to you. When the case has been resolved, contact the County Attorney or the Law Enforcement Agency holding your property. Arrangements can then be made to release your property to you.
No. Nebraska Rev. Statute §23-1206.01 prohibits the County Attorney’s office from providing legal advice in private legal matters. Members of the general public must contact a private attorney regarding questions involving such legal matters. For specific questions regarding individual county agencies, you may contact the agency directly by telephone or by accessing the agency’s website.
No. Nebraska Rev. Statute §23-1206.01 prohibits the County Attorney, deputy county attorneys, or any employees of the County Attorney’s Office from referring any legal matter to a particular lawyer. You may contact the Nebraska State Bar Association with questions about hiring an attorney to handle a particular legal matter either by telephone or by accessing its website at Nebraska Bar. You may also consult the Yellow Pages under “Attorneys.”
No. The Code of Professional Responsibility prohibits the County Attorney, deputy county attorneys, or any employees of the County Attorney’s Office from discussing a pending legal matter directly with a person who is represented by an attorney.
Typically, law enforcement and pawn shops work cooperatively to identify and hold stolen property so it can be returned to a victim/owner. If law enforcement identifies stolen property in the possession of a pawn shop, law enforcement will either ask the pawn shop to hold the property, or seize and hold the property as evidence.
Once the property is no longer required as evidence, a victim/owner can buy the property back from the pawn shop at the pawned price, or join the pawn shop in a request to have the defendant pay the pawn price as restitution. There is no guarantee that a defendant will have the ability to pay restitution. A victim/owner may have to privately sue the defendant to recover his loss. In the alternative, pawn shops will occasionally take the loss and the property can be returned to a victim/owner when the property is no longer required as evidence.
If you received a citation from law enforcement in Lancaster County, the issuing law enforcement agency should have a record of it. Law enforcement refers citations to either the City Attorney or County Attorney for review. The City Attorney or County Attorney either files or does not file a charge based on the citation. Charges get filed in the County Court or District Court.
The County Court Clerk and the District Court Clerk maintain a record of all filings. A person may contact either a local law enforcement agency, or the Clerk of the court in which charges are filed, to obtain a copy of a criminal history or run a background check. Law enforcement charges a fee to run a person’s criminal history or conduct a background check.