Evidence - Property
Evidence / Property Division Policies
It is your responsibility to contact the Property Section promptly if you wish to claim your property. Property will not be held longer than charges allow. Please review the charge related directions to recover your property. If there is a special circumstance or need for an item, contact the seizing officer for direction. If you know the charges are filed with the District Attorney's office, you may go in person to their office to fill out a property release request. As an alternative you may contact the Evidence/Property division at 707-253-4318 during regular business hours to have a release request form mailed to you. Please provide your case number when calling.
Release of Property or Evidence
In order to retrieve your property from the Sheriff's Office, you or your authorized representative must call and make an appointment at 707-253-4318. When releasing an item to a third party representative, they must present written authorization from the property owner, as well as photo identification. Again, property is released by appointment only.
Firearms: Please be aware that any firearm that is in custody of the Sheriff's Office for any reason will not be released to a private party without a clearance letter from the California Department of Justice that states the requesting party is permitted to possess firearms. Information on how to obtain a clearance letter may be found here.
Felony / Misdemeanor Arrest: Evidence will be held for 60 days from the date of sentencing. If not claimed by the owner 15-days following the 60 day period, items will be considered unclaimed and disposed of per Napa Sheriff's Office Policy.
If no arrest has been made: Evidence may be held up to 1 year or longer, depending on the status of the case.
Items submitted as evidence in court: These items will only be released if the District Attorney and Case Officer authorizes their release. As an alternative you may obtain an order from the Napa Superior Court that directs the Sheriff's Office to release the affected item or items.
Property taken for safekeeping will be held for a period of 60 days for pick up by the owner. Items not claimed will be disposed of according to the law. (Firearms taken for safekeeping are subject to the requirements as stated above).
Found property will be held for 90-days. If you signed to claim the property, at the end of 90 days you will be contacted by mail to make an appointment for pick up. If the items are not claimed within 15 days of mailing date, the items will be disposed of according to Napa Sheriff's Office Policy. (Weapons, ammunition, alcohol and drugs cannot be released).
Any firearm seized during the investigation of a domestic violence incident, or while serving a gun violence restraining order under the auspices of California Penal Code Section 18250 will be held a minimum of 48 hours. If no charges have been filed, you may request the return of the weapon following Napa Sheriff's Office Protocol. A Department of Justice Clearance letter must be produced prior to any firearm release to the owner. If charges have been filed, written authorization from the assigned Investigator, District Attorney, or a Napa Court Order will be required. Weapons unclaimed after 12 months will be disposed per statute.
Weapons Seized as a Result of a Psychiatric Hold
If your firearm or other deadly weapon was seized under section 8102 of the Welfare & Institutions Code, the County may initiate a petition in the Napa County Superior Court to determine whether the return of your weapon would result in endangering either yourself or others. If the County initiates the petition, you have 30 days to file a written response requesting a hearing date with the Napa Court Clerk. If you do not respond to the clerk within 30 days your confiscated weapon(s) will be forfeited. All other property will be disposed of after 60 days.
Property Seized as a Result of a Search Warrant
California Penal Code Section 1536 controls the method in which property that was seized during the execution of a search warrant may be returned to its proper owner. Generally speaking, a court order is required to permit the return of that property.